September 29, 2008
© Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
An alarming number of suicides among Houston-based Army recruiters — including two in recent weeks — has prompted calls by a senator and veterans’ advocates for closer scrutiny of high-stress recruiting duty during wartime.
Staff Sgt. Larry G. Flores Jr., 26, and Sgt. 1st Class Patrick G. Henderson, 35, are the fourth and fifth recruiters at the Houston Recruiting Battalion to kill themselves since 2001. Both men belonged to the battalion’s Tyler Company, and both were combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Clearly, there’s a problem,” said David Rudd, a former Army psychologist and psychology chair at Texas Tech University. “Somebody needs to look and see if there’s a broader national problem outside of this one battalion. Is it a problem placing these combat veterans in recruiting positions?”
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