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Like far too many of his fellow soldiers, Iraq war veteran Daniel Somers committed suicide following a prolonged battle with post traumatic stress disorder. But in the long, thought-out note he left to explain himself, the solder says that a chief reason for his suicide was the “crimes against humanity” he was forced to perpetrate while in service.
Somers was assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad and participated in more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee. He was also part of an interrogation team.
His long suicide note is a compelling indictment of the actions taken by the US military in Iraq.
“The simple truth is this: During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity,” Somers says in the note. “Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.”
The trooper also said that he was forced to participate in the “ensuing coverup” of the crimes.
Already more US soldiers dies from suicide than from combat and it is without a doubt that too many soldiers commit suicide every day as it is.
Many are infuriated that our veterans seem to be “treated like garbage” and this story does nothing to detract from that claim.
Here is the extensive suicide note Somers left.
I am sorry that it has come to this.
The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me. As things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on. The fact is, I am not getting better, I am not going to get better, and I will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on. From a logical standpoint, it is better to simply end things quickly and let any repercussions from that play out in the short term than to drag things out into the long term.
You will perhaps be sad for a time, but over time you will forget and begin to carry on. Far better that than to inflict my growing misery upon you for years and decades to come, dragging you down with me. It is because I love you that I can not do this to you. You will come to see that it is a far better thing as one day after another passes during which you do not have to worry about me or even give me a second thought. You will find that your world is better without me in it.