Horror at Fort Bragg

  1. I was deeply saddened to hear about the servicemen at Fort Bragg who murdered their wives and the two who then committed suicide. What makes someone do this ? Are special forces so demanding on soldiers that the psychological effects are this overwhelming ? I am the mother of a serviceman in the Navy who will return from deployment Aug. 2nd. I was truly moved to think about what may be going through his mind on return to his home and family. What does one say or do when they have nothing to identify with on a personal level or any personal experience re having been in a war ? My heart goes out to the families and friends of these servicemen and their wives. I wish to express deep appreciation to their having served our country, and sadness at the loss of their lives and the one closest to them in what seems like senseless tragedy to me.
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   kids
    I have been following this in the NY Times. It is incredibly sad. I was a Submariners wife for several years, the hardest part was not my husband going to sea, but rather his coming home.

    I did read that one of the husbands had not been deployed and was not scheduled for deployment.

    What came to mind for me was not that it could be related to the intensity of their deployments or jobs but rather, in the case of the 2 murder suicides...could it be related to a sense of helplessness due to the 9/11 events...sort of a ..."here I am a member of the strongest fighting force in the world and I don't know if I can keep my loved ones safe so we are all better off dead".
  4. by   LasVegasRN
    Call me silly, but what if there was a biological agent in Afghanistan that causes homicidal ideations? Purposely released for American GI's? Just a bizarre thought.
  5. by   Brownms46
    As a former military brat, military wife, and Viet Nam ERA vet....let me say this! The only difference I see here in these military men killiing their wives, is that it happened in the same area in a relative short period of time! Abuse of a spouses has LONG been a problem in the military...no matter what area the military person was assigned. But much more pervasive in the ranks of those assgned to very aggressive units. In fact there is even a military reg, and support agencies and procedures in place on ALL facilities to protect wives once they complain. The guy next door..wife called the MP's when her husband broke the sliding glass door of their on post housing. They sent out 10 BIG MPs....made him leave housing, and move into the barracks...while they went to counseling. If he didn't show up for counseling...he could lose his rank! He also lost his bid to go to the base of his choice...during this time. This was true of enlisted and officers! Because of this...most men wouldn't just threaten the wife...but put the fear of being killed if she ever called for help!!!

    During my many years in the and around military life...abuse was more the normal than not. I have seen this up front and close...in my family members who were abused and neighbors! My ex and I rescued one wife, when her ex attempted to choke her to death with her infant holding on to her!!! Yes it is very sad...but has to do with ...on one hand..you teach someone to kill, and how to be good at it, and then expect them to resist the insincts you have imbeded into them when they get in situations of conflict! Very Sad indeed!
    Last edit by Brownms46 on Jul 29, '02
  6. by   Stargazer
    Interesting comments, Brownie. I have another online friend from a different board who has been in an abusive military marriage for many years now and is trying to get up the courage to leave him. (She came thisclose a few weeks ago, but he came home from work early and caught her, then turned on the charm, promising her everything would be better from now on. Intellectually, she's too smart to fall for that, but emotionally, says it's too hard to leave when he's being "nice." Guess nothing's going to happen until it gets "bad" again.)

    I was a Submariners wife for several years, the hardest part was not my husband going to sea, but rather his coming home.
    kids-r-fun, would you be willing to elaborate on this remark a little?
    Last edit by Stargazer on Jul 29, '02
  7. by   fergus51
    I've been told that the military has the highest prevalence of spousal abuse, followed by the police. I wonder if there isn't something violent already in these men's personalities that drew them to the military in the first place.
  8. by   jevans
    Brownie

    I so agree with you ! I am a wife of a Uk forces guy spent 15yrs in the RAF

    IN MY EXPERIENCE I FEEL THAT FORCES GUYS ARE INDOCTRINATED AND THEREFORE HAVE SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP ISSUES. THEY CANNOT RELATE TO THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!!!!

    I personally have not been subjected to abuse but boy!!! do I know many who have

    My heart and prayers go out to the family members who have to pick up the pieces

    J:kiss
  9. by   2ndCareerRN
    Let me throw something out here that may make one or two of you go hmmmmmmmmm, and piss off everyone else.


    There have been 4 military spouses killed in Ft Bragg in the last 6 weeks, and two of the soldiers doing the killing also ended their own life.

    IMO, there are a few things that keep a person away from their loved ones going on, and that is the thought that they will return to them. In most cases that is so. But seldom do the men come home to the same subservient wifey they left behind. While the soldier was gone his wife had to become much more independent, had to make sure the bills were paid, the chores were done, the kids taken care of, and had to do this with little or no contact with her husband. The soldier comes home to a very changed person. This alone is going to cause a lot of friction in the relationship. And, IMO, the army does not get it members from the sharpest box of tacks. At this point the soldier may feel threatened, his role as head of household, the breadwinner, the law of the house has been challenged, perhaps taken away.

    Now, just supposing, the wife who is left behind needs someone to talk to concerning her fears for her husband. Or to relieve the stress of knowing he may not return, or just a helping hand around the house. And this good samaritan is a male, and the relationship goes much further than the woman had ever envisioned. She feels quilty, and when the husband return tells him and begs for his forgivness. This man, who has just been in an area where he could die at any minute, has just been told that the one thing that kept him going is a lie. Does he suggest counseling for the two of them? I don't think so. He goes to the bar, gets drunk and returns home, only to be confronted with the vision he cannot remove from his mind whenever he looks at his wife. So, he kills her, possibly himself.

    Is this farfetched, probably not as farfetched as it sounds. I can weave this tale because I have seen it happen, although not to an ending of murder. But to the abuse stage several times. Perhaps because these men are not given time to decompress following their tour in Afganistan they are more apt to resort to violence, who knows. One day you are on patrol, waiting for the round with your name on it, and then 2 days later you are back in the land of the big PX, like nothing happened. These men have been under an unbelievable amount of stress, and asking them to come home and resume a normal life overnight is assinine. I am sure the Army has formed a committe to look into this, and in about 10-12 yrs will have recommendations that are nothing more than common sense.

    Right now, the reasons behind the murders are nothing more than speculation.......and are likely to remain that. I don't think the Army will ever tell the truth, even if they could figure it out.

    bob

    As always: The statements and opinions stated above are mine.

    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jul1...6_9607301.html
  10. by   semstr
    Bob, so the women have to blame themselves or what?
    Why would a woman turn to another male? Ok, of course this happens too, is that an excuse for abusive husbands?
    I was married to a sailor in my first marriage, and yes, he was gone for 4-6 months and a lot of things happened while he was away and yes, I had to take care of them myself and yes, I managed quite well without him. In fact, as someone stated before, it was hard the first few weeks as he got home.
    We were quite a big group at that time, and all ( our "party" was 12 couples) except one couple split up over the years!!

    All I want to state here, is that in my opinion, men who join the army, navy etc. and must go away from home for longer periods of time, are (not all of them, thank God) pretty loaded up when they return home and 1)don't know how and 2) often don't have the possibilities to enload their aggressitivity and adrenalinlevel, necessary to do their jobs. That's where trouble begins.
    I found out the hard way too!!
    Take care, Renee
  11. by   2ndCareerRN
    Bob, so the women have to blame themselves or what?
    I do not believe that any one deserves the blame for being abused. IMO, the fault lies in the upbringing of the abuser, whether male or female. I feel that a person raised watching, or being, abused thinks no more of abusing others themselves than they do putting on their shoes in the morning. It is a cycle of violence that has been proven, the problem is getting the cycle to stop.

    Why would a woman turn to another male? Ok, of course this happens too, is that an excuse for abusive husbands?
    Not being a woman, I can not answer this one. But, having been a young, single sailor, I can tell you that the place to be on any night of the week was the enlisted club. Especially after a battle group went on deployment and left many young, and not so young women (wives), behind to fend for themselves. Did every spouse do this? No, but enough did to make it a worthwhile trip if one was searching for company of the opposite sex for the night..or possibly longer.
    Is being unfaithful reason enough for someone to become violent towards their spouse? Probably in some cases. What would be your first thought if you found out your husband was being unfaithful to you? People are very complex, they react in different ways to stressors. Perhaps the ones who resort to violence were raised in a violent atmosphere, and the use of violence is, to them, justified.
    Just because it happens, does not make spousal abuse an acceptable form of behavior. I think we can both agree to this. The question is how to stop it. I wish I knew.

    I wish I knew more of the particulars of these cases, but not being close to that community we must rely on hearsay and limited information. My one scenario is just one of possibly hundreds that could be possible.

    IN MY EXPERIENCE I FEEL THAT FORCES GUYS ARE INDOCTRINATED AND THEREFORE HAVE SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP ISSUES. THEY CANNOT RELATE TO THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!!!!
    Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to the local deprogramming specialists so that I can learn to relate and have meaningful relationships. After my 21 years in the Navy, I must be some type of psychotic automon who can only rely on my indoctronation, according to this line of reasoning.
    I hope my wife, coworkers, and patients like the new me when I return.

    bob
    Last edit by 2ndCareerRN on Jul 31, '02
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by 2ndCareerRN
    Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to the local deprogramming specialists so that I can learn to relate and have meaningful relationships. After my 21 years in the Navy, I must be some type of psychotic aotomon who can only rely on my indoctronation, according to this line of reasoning.
    I hope my wife, coworkers, and patients like the new me when I return.

    bob
    Good point. I asked my Vietnam combat Vet friend, who has 13 kids by 7 different women THAT HE KNOWS OF why he has difficulty maintaining relationships. His quote: "I can't blame that on the service, I was that way BEFORE I went to war".
  13. by   Mary Dover
    Just to bring the news up to date, a wife is now charged with murdering her active duty husband, in his sleep, just after he came home from Afghanistan. This also happened at Bragg - on July 23rd.
    I keep a close eye on things. My husband is active duty Air Force. We live right here at Ft. Bragg.
  14. by   LasVegasRN
    Mary, are you finding the same thing where it's hard the first few weeks they are home? I was hoping someone could explain this...

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