Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Time to talk: It takes a tough soldier to go public about the urge to kill himself

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes is the subject of a good article about how two tours in Iraq stripped him of his marriage and peace of mind, and nearly his life by his own hand. At one point in Iraq he tied himself to his own bunk. He has gone public to help other ...

U.S. Army
U.S. Army
U.S. Army

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes is the subject of a good article about how two tours in Iraq stripped him of his marriage and peace of mind, and nearly his life by his own hand. At one point in Iraq he tied himself to his own bunk.

He has gone public to help other soldiers. "It's not about me. ... Every one of us can tell our own story. Start telling it. Change the culture of silence." He emphasizes how important a few kind words can be at the right time. Keep that in mind, little grasshoppers.

Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes is the subject of a good article about how two tours in Iraq stripped him of his marriage and peace of mind, and nearly his life by his own hand. At one point in Iraq he tied himself to his own bunk.

He has gone public to help other soldiers. "It’s not about me. … Every one of us can tell our own story. Start telling it. Change the culture of silence." He emphasizes how important a few kind words can be at the right time. Keep that in mind, little grasshoppers.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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