This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
There’s a lot we don’t know yet about the tragic shooting rampage in Afghanistan on Sunday, allegedly by a lone Stryker soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
We don’t know yet what set him off and led to the murders of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children and three women. Was it alcohol, drugs, mental illness, stress related to having already served three tours in Iraq? A combination of one or more of those factors?
We don’t know yet why someone who works with the staff sergeant – a 38-year-old soldier, 11-year veteran, husband and father – didn’t recognize that he was troubled and get him some kind of help. The Army has been promoting its increased focus on mental health services for U.S. troops, especially in light of higher rates of suicide and stress related to serving in war zones.
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