View Full Version : Marine commits suicide in Kuwait

03-14-03, 06:17 AM
March 13, 2003

Marine commits suicide in Kuwait

By C. Mark Brinkley
Times staff writer

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA-7, Kuwait — A Marine from 3rd Light Armor Reconnaissance Battalion committed suicide here March 13, stepping out of the midday sun into the privacy of a portable toilet before firing a shot to his own head with his M-16A2 service rifle.
Further details surrounding the incident were not released, including the Marine’s name and rank, and news of the act traveled slowly around the sprawling camp. Some small-unit commanders confirmed the rumor to their own troops during daily meetings, using the opportunity to discuss the buddy system and suicide warning signs.

The buddy system is a basic camp rule here at night, but its enforcement during the day varies from unit to unit, Marine officials said. All Marines here carry live rounds for their weapons.

Despite the waiting game Marines are playing as they anticipate a war with Iraq, morale is fairly high. Horseshoes and football are popular outside the tents when weather permits, while spades and board games help pass the time inside. In every tent, Marines can be heard laughing and making the best of the sand.

“For this stage of the game, I wouldn’t say [morale] is that low,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Scott Adams, 33, battalion chaplain for 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment from Mangham, La. His unit is based across the camp from 3rd LAR.

“The Marines are finding ways of keeping entertained,” Adams said. “And we keep a close eye on them.”

Though the suicide occurred in a different unit, such experiences affect all Marines stationed in the relative closeness of this Kuwaiti camp. Potential suicides are a focus for leaders at all levels here, and depressed Marines are counseled by commanders and chaplains. Any bad news from home, or no news at all, is discussed as soon as it comes to light.

“Any type of abnormal or unusual behavior is noticed, at least here at 3/11,” Adams said. “We’re keeping pretty good tabs on our guys.”

The light armored reconnaissance battalion, based in the deserts of Twentynine Palms, Calif., is a high-speed armored force that uses wheeled vehicles for reconnaissance. Because of its mobility, the unit’s primary mission is to support infantry and armored operations with heavy machine guns.



My condolences to the family of this Marine