Very Bad News
U.S. military officials are investigating the apparent suicide of Navy SEAL Cdr. Job W. Price., 42, of Pottstown, Pa., "who died Saturday of a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan."
Our deepest sympathies are reserved for Cdr. Price's family, friends, and those with whom he served. We lost another good one.
Suicide? At this time of year a SEAL officer's suicide could have been timed as an especially alarming message. Though certainly not inevitable, chances that a suicide victim with SEAL command and O-4 rank might not realize the added sensitivity of his tragic act at Christmas is far from remote. An arson disabled USS Miami and attempted distribution of submarine secrets to the Russian Federation has already made 2012 a troubling year for our Navy's leadership.
While any of us might become depressed by life's bitter events, can we think of anyone more exposed to depressing events, sights and relationships than leaders of our elite military units? The reported rate of suicide among SEAL team members has been even less than negligible (discounting sacrificial acts of uncommon valor).
What could make suicide for a man of such uncommon courage as urgent? Probably not any terminal health issue. An anonymous U.S. military official, said, "Price had no immediately known professional or work problems other than the stresses of deployment, which can be tremendous for troops."
Perhaps a pressing family issue back home and personal leave had to be denied? - Entirely possible. Perhaps a career-ending action or statement? -That we are not likely ever to learn.
Which finding would be more tragic, suicide or homicide?
ANSWER: Homicide by either an Afgan turncoat, or even worse, another U.S. military combatant would be more tragic.
The Washington Post's report (linked above) leads readers to believe that wherever a fatal gunshot occurred, it was either not heard or not considered unusual enough to investigate until CDR Price failed to appear at a scheduled appointment. Appointment with whom?
Do not hold your breath for answers; more than likely, however, every member of Cdr. Price's SEAL team and certain people in D.C. know the tragic reality of actual events by now.
To our readers: We wish you Peace and goodwill now and throughout the New Year!
Submarines are always silent and strange.