小编摘要：Josh Lipstein不是死于炸弹，而是死于自杀。他是一名23 岁的士兵，去年他在完成伊拉克第二次任务回国后自杀了。
It was not the bombs in Iraq, but coming home that resulted in the death of Josh Lipstein. The 23 year old committed suicide last year after returning from his second deployment in Iraq.
His father Don Lipstein says Josh struggled with drug abuse and did not want to open up to military therapists for fear of ruining his reputation.
“But there’s got to be a way for them to release that toughness after they come back from, from tour, tour duty.”
Experts say the risk of suicide is even higher as soldiers’ transitioned to civilian life and deal with issues like post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, substance abuses and financial difficulties, often alone without the structure of military life.
Many don’t seek help for fear their careers may suffer. But many others like Marine Lance Corporal Michael Harris do. His brother Ben says Michael took his own life last February after his deployment in Afghanistan.
“And Michael was at least actively reaching out, looking for help from, from the Consulting Department. But when he let them know that he is drinking too much, and this was his only admission looking for help, that was when he was told that he now qualified as having a substance abuse issue and they could no longer help them.”
The military started suicide prevention training years ago. But advocates say a rigidly - structured system of categorizing patients is failing to take responsibility for at-risk individuals who reach out . The result: missed opportunities.
U.S government health experts at a recent conference in Washington said 70% of military suicide victims have seen doctors. Many of them the same day they committed suicide.
Leon Panetta says the suicide issue is perhaps the most frustrating challenge he is faced as Secretary of Defense:
“There are, as I’ve said, no easy answers to the problem and challenge of suicide. But that is no damned reason for not finding the answers to the problem of suicide.”
Don lipstein will never get his son back. But joining an advocacy group, speaking out and raising awareness are helping him turn tragedy into something positive.
“This is a start by being able to, you know, sit in front of however many people there are today. And tell the story and hopefully save a life.”
Ben Harris hopes the military will adopt a more holistic, less bureaucratic approach.
“The more we can do to continue to educate all of our military members from the bottom rank on up to the very top, that invisible wounds and emotional illness, are just as dangerous to our military being ready to serve, the better it’s going to be.”
Michael Harris' epitaph reads: too awesome for this world.
He should have survived coming home.