The Freedom of Knowledge, The Power of Thought ©

Guardsman/State Trooper Commits Suicide 5 Weeks After Iraq Return
May 27, 2004

Original Title
Guard Suicide Highlights Risks for Returning Troops

Listen to this story... by Joseph Shapiro

Jeffrey and Pam Sloss were married just weeks before he left for Iraq.

. Courtesy Pam Sloss



South Carolina Guardsman Jeffrey Sloss, Courtesy Pam Sloss

Morning Edition, May 27, 2005 · Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Jerome Sloss, a member of the South Carolina National Guard, seemed fine when he was serving in Iraq. But when he came home to his job as a state trooper, he had trouble concentrating. Sloss committed suicide on May 27, 2004 -- five weeks after his return.

Military researchers say 17 percent of troops back from Iraq show signs of mental health problems such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and reservists and guardsmen -- like Sloss -- may be at greater risk than their active-duty counterparts. That may be because when their deployment ends, members of the National Guard and Reserves don't return to military bases, where they're supported by others who've shared the life-changing experience of war.

Though the military has better programs than ever before to handle combat-related stress, there's still a lot of stigma. Sixty-five percent of troops with problems say they worry that if they ask for help, they'll seem weak.

Related NPR Stories

March 30, 2004
Psychological Impact of Killing in Battle
Aug. 19, 2003
History of PTSD Diagnosis
March 18, 2003
Preventing Breakdowns on the Battlefield


Free Newsletter

Email Address:

Join the Educate-Yourself Discussion Forum

All information posted on this web site is the opinion of the author and is provided for educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Only a licensed medical doctor can legally offer medical advice in the United States. Consult the healer of your choice for medical care and advice.