Soldier suicide at Schofield Barracks a casualty of war and sexism

The following information about the suicide of Pvt. Galina Klippel has not been verified.   A commenter named Bearcat357 wrote on a forum at

Media article sucks……and was just told I could post this…..

Female Solider going through divorce was hopped up on pills/booze…..barricades herself in vehicle…. MPs/DOA Police arrive and shut the area down. CID shows up and talks her down and she gets out of the vehicle….. Once she gets out, change of heart….. .45 to the head…. one shot/one self-inflicted KIA…. End of story……

Pvt. Klippel, who was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, was a casualty of the wars that have destroyed so many individual lives and families.  In January, the Congressional Quarterly reported:

Figures released by the armed services last week showed an alarming increase in suicides in 2010, but those figures leave out some categories.

Overall, the services reported 434 suicides by personnel on active duty, significantly more than the 381 suicides by active-duty personnel reported in 2009. The 2010 total is below the 462 deaths in combat, excluding accidents and illness. In 2009, active-duty suicides exceeded deaths in battle.

In 2009, the Pentagon reported that along with a jump in suicides among troops, “An increasing number are female Soldiers, who rarely committed suicide before but now are killing themselves at a much higher rate.”

Two days ago, the AP published an article that reported that female soldiers have much higher rates of divorce than their male military counterparts or civilian counterparts:

For women in the military, there’s a cold, hard reality: Their marriages are more than twice as likely to end in divorce as those of their male comrades — and up to three times as likely for enlisted women. And military women get divorced at higher rates than their peers outside the military, while military men divorce at lower rates than their civilian peers.

About 220,000 women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq in roles ranging from helicopter pilots to police officers. Last year, 7.8 percent of women in the military got a divorce, compared with 3 percent of military men, according to Pentagon statistics. Among the military’s enlisted corps, nearly 9 percent of women saw their marriages end, compared with a little more than 3 percent of the men.

Like all divorces, the results can be a sense of loss and a financial blow. But for military women, a divorce can be a breaking point — even putting them at greater risk for homelessness down the road.

It has an effect, too, on military kids. The military has more single moms than dads, and an estimated 30,000 of them have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why military women are more burdened by divorce is unclear, although societal pressure is likely a factor.

“Societal pressure”?  More accurately, sexism and unequal power place greater distress on women soldiers.

Poster Girl, a new film about a female war veteran-turned anti-war activist tells a tragic, yet hopeful story.  It will air on HBO in 2011.   The website describes the film as:

The story of Robynn Murray, an all-American high-school cheerleader turned “poster girl” for women in combat, distinguished by Army Magazine’s cover shot. Now home from Iraq, her tough-as-nails exterior begins to crack, leaving Robynn struggling with the debilitating effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).



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