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Discussion Starter #1
Troops Returning From War Zones Dying On Motorcycles

POSTED: 7:52 pm EST February 6, 2006
UPDATED: 7:52 pm EST February 6, 2006

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- More troops have died in off-duty motorcycle accidents since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, than have been killed in combat in Afghanistan over that same time, according to safety records.

Military commanders in North Carolina say the deaths are largely the result of boredom, bonus pay, and adrenalin to burn off after troops return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nearly 350 troops have died on bikes since the 2001 terrorist attacks. That's compared to 259 killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Nearly 1,000 more troops have been injured on bikes.

Marine Lance Cpl. Mark Strickland, 24, was one of five Marines from Camp Lejeune who were involved in serious motorcycle crashes in October. Four of them had been home just a few weeks from combat in Iraq's deadly Anbar Province. Three of the Marines were killed and another lost a leg.

"When the doctor told me that he was dead, I told him that wasn't acceptable, it just wasn't acceptable," said Andrea Strickland, 22, the widow of Mark Strickland. "I said, 'He just got back from a war zone, and you're going to tell me that he died doing something he loved?' "

The problem could get worse as some 20,000 Marines and sailors begin returning to bases in North Carolina over the coming weeks.

"Our goal is not to see the same thing happen," said Lt. Gen. James F. Amos, commander of the Camp Lejeune-based II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Amos described the crashes in October as "a cold shot to the heart" and ordered a crackdown. The following month normal base operations were halted to focus on safety, particularly for motorcyclists.

Camp Lejeune also added safety programs and re-emphasized existing ones. These include a mentor program Amos created that's being considered as a model for the entire Marine Corps.

The Army hasn't been immune to off-duty motorcycle deaths, with more than 40 in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The Army chief of staff issued a memo in December that urge experienced riders to cut the accident rate by mentoring beginners.

The military has enough of a challenge maintaining a force that repeated deployments have left severely stretched, according to two reports released last month _ one commissioned by the Pentagon, the other by Congressional Democrats.

In response to the motorcycle injuries, Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson Jr., who oversees most of the Marine Corps' East Coast facilities, has visited area motorcycle dealers and asked them to pass out Corps-funded $100 vouchers to Marine customers for the safety classes.

"I've owned three motorcycles, and they're a lot of fun, but you've got to be careful," Dickerson said. He says the Marines need risk-takers but it's crucial to draw a line between courage and recklessness.

Troops say the bikes fill the adrenalin void they left behind in the war zone.

"Riders who have been in accidents have told us that it's the legal crack cocaine," said J.T. Coleman, a civilian spokesman for the Army's Combat Readiness Center in Fort Rucker, Ala., which tracks accidents among soldiers. "They say it gives them the same adrenaline rush they get driving their tank through Baghdad or whatever."
http://www.wral.com/apncnews/6767407/detail.html
 

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I wonder if the military will attempt to ban service personell from riding? Aside from the terrible waste of human lives, it must be an expensive exercise for the military, training new personell to fill the roles left vacant.

I can understand returned soldiers needing to fill their lives with something that brings them the same rush. Better than turning to drugs.
 

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<--- guilty as charged. as a soldier who rides, its' true. Lots of young soldiers returning with huge balances in thier bank accounts.. what do they do? But the nicest, fastest thing they can get thier hands on. A sportbike. Problem is, it's bought on a whim, without any thought, and very little experience. You can't stop the soldiers from doing it... but perhaps madatory MSC and so on for soldiers on post. Maybe offer it for free to soldiers. Just a thought.
 

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JBaz said:
well they are talking about 100 dollar reimbersment for taking the safety course.
Here at Ft Bliss the course is mandatory and paid for by the installation. Just a little push and the command should go for it there to.

We have the same problem here too. Never been on a bike and they want to get the biggest/fastest bike around, and you damn sure can't get them to listen to any advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
they are set in their ways, and I'm not going to fight a military guy. Although, because they do wreck new bikes, easy to find decent shaped salvage bikes. Not trying to give ill will to anyone... just stating a fact.

Also, even after taking the safety course does not always guarantee that they'll ride safe or have the experience to ride correctly and adapt to different situations such as cars cutting you off or a wild animal crossing in front of you.
 

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Maybe they should just invest in some tracks on or near major bases and encourage use of them.
 

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My roommate is ex-army, and they had him do some pretty intense training just so he could ride on base. I'm not sure if that is an army thing, or just that korean base...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What would be cool if when they close pope airforce base, but instead of giving it to another military branch, turn it into a stunting place / motorcycle track. Oh wellz.. its just a dream.
 

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What would be cool if when they close pope airforce base, but instead of giving it to another military branch, turn it into a stunting place / motorcycle track

:laughing: :laughing: You wish

I'm at Travis AFB, and motorcycle deaths/injuries are a big deal here too. Car accidents are actually the #2 cause of death in the AF, motorcycle accidents being included in that group (car deaths still outweight motorcycles though, obviously, by a large number). They require and pay for both the beginner and advanced MSF courses here. They actually teach them on base. They also require wearing bright colored clothing on base - don't know if this helps or not (?) - reflective clothing required at night :)rolleyes: )

If you look at the stats nearly all the deaths/serious injuries are from beginners on bikes that are way too fast for them. New guy on a Gixxer 1K stories abound here. But there are also a lot of experienced and more careful riders here too. I know the command here has made other efforts in the safety dept., but they can only go so far legally. Someone mentioned banning bikes altogether - not to say that someone wouldn't like to do that, but it's not legal. Also not legal was the idea of limiting new riders to a certan CC size, say 500 or 600 for their first bike, and reducing the limit as you gained in experience. But they found out that they couldn't do that legally either.

Anyway, not to bore you guys, but it's a big deal at a lot of bases and gets much attention from the higher ups. But I think they're pretty limited as to what they can do - but the free MSF courses are a good idea, IMO. I wouldn't want them to be able to really restrict what military members are allowed to ride, that's taking it too far.
 

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JBaz said:

Also, even after taking the safety course does not always guarantee that they'll ride safe or have the experience to ride correctly and adapt to different situations such as cars cutting you off or a wild animal crossing in front of you.
My sentiments exactly. It's a shame things are the way they are. I think more emphasis should be placed on knowing your limits and riding within them.
 

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Since 2001 we have lost around 6,000 Americans to terrorist attacks and due to military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2001, there have been 160,000 Americans killed in traffic accidents and 1.5 million injuries, with about 70,000 of those deaths due to drunk drivers. Not one word from anyone in the newsmedia about that.

We are so conditioned to killing ourselves on our roads one and two at a time it barely gets mentioned. But if that same person gets killed in Iraq, it is the main news story. You have no idea how many people have got mad at me, and I mean pissed off red-faced mad, that I even make the comparrison. To me dead is dead is dead.
 

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Well not to stray too far off, but it's not really much of a comparison comparing traffic deaths in the US to total US deaths overseas in Iraq. There may be "only" 6,000 deaths in Iraq vs. 160K traffic deaths here, but how many less Americans are over there to begin with?

A better way to look at it would be "1 in X amount" die every year in Iraq vs. in America in a car accident.
 

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slaps76 said:
Well not to stray too far off, but it's not really much of a comparison comparing traffic deaths in the US to total US deaths overseas in Iraq. There may be "only" 6,000 deaths in Iraq vs. 160K traffic deaths here, but how many less Americans are over there to begin with?

A better way to look at it would be "1 in X amount" die every year in Iraq vs. in America in a car accident.
The comparrison is that many people, especially news anchors and reporters go on and on about another two Americans killed today in Iraq. That many Americans die every hour or two due to drunk and reckless drivers. Where is the outrage and concern for that?
 

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Desert-Lad said:
The comparrison is that many people, especially news anchors and reporters go on and on about another two Americans killed today in Iraq. That many Americans die every hour or two due to drunk and reckless drivers. Where is the outrage and concern for that?
Money. There is little money to be made in screaming about the dangers of drunk driving. Talk about the evils of the war on iraq and you got access to the left's treasury. Talk about racial inequality and you get to make even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't think its outlandish to compare the two unrelated deaths of car accidents and the amount from Iraq/Afganistan. But you have to realize that with our modern day equipment and technology, our troops are safer then ever. And since Vietnam, the news media has had almost full access to whats going on. In the first golf war, Iraq just watched CNN for our troop movements.

Because we have the best trained and skilled fighters on the planet with the best possible technology for them, the amount of deaths in the US military are very low compared to recent wars in the past 100 years. News media and other people are all bitching how we are losing so many people over there. First off, its always bad when we lose service men and women in the line of duty, but if you compare that with... oh say Vietnam or WWII, where we lost thousands of men in one day, losing one guy is a huge improvement.

The US public wants to wage wars with people but expects that no one dies??? Man the US public is stupid if we all think that. Its a war... people die... thats what happens in a war... War has been an integral part of human history since cavemen. That bullet is not your friend... If the US army can wage and win a war in a week with just losing less than 100 guys, thats an achievement in itself. Not to mention the incident in Somalia (black hawk down) where politics detacted that mission. Fact: we lost 18 delta force and Rangers that day, but killed over 1000 somalia militia. Although only a couple hundred were stationed there.

I guess our culture is going down the drain. I blame TV and all the stupid shows coming out now.
 

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Ok, hows this for a more relvanant comparison...

More people are shot in Detroit than in iraq every month.

It's war, it's not supposed to make sense, it's not supposed to be pretty. If it was, we'd call it summer camp instead of war. Too many people think that things can just be solved by talking. They feel there is no reason to use force. Thats no different than putting your child in time out. It's not gonna stick... so he'll keep doin whatever it was that got him sat in the corner. We even tried this whole time out thing with saddam. It didn't work, now we went to plan b... whoppin his ass. Personally, I think we did a pretty damn good job.

oh, and I will flip a bitch if anyone tries to tell me I can't ride a bike... servicemen or not. It's my passion and I will do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
force is utterly needed as ignorant people will never learn or listen. Thats why I always keep an open mind. If I'm wrong and someone corrects me, then I'll take a look into it and learn a thing or two. I'm not an expert at anything, I just have a good idea and idea's can be changed easier then believing in something.
 

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im sure im going to catch a lot of flak for posting it, but due to the fact that we're talking about war and our soldiers i thought id post the video that made me completely reconsider a military career (and eventually decide against it.) i was literally days away from signing my papers with the USMC
http://www.attackfromwithin.org/docs/lc2e1.php
its 3 parts and an hour, but it completely changed me.
 
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