3 Navy sailors assigned to same ship died by suicide last week

"We need all hands to engage by bringing forward your suggestions and ideas for how we can work together to prevent another suicide."

Digital Content Producer
September 25, 2019 - 12:38 pm

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

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(KFTK) - The U.S. Navy is investigating after several sailors assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier took their own lives within five days of each other.

Officials tell CNN, Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Vincent Forline, Chief Electronics Technician Nuclear James Shelton and Airman Ethan Stuart were all assigned to the USS George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier off the coast of Virginia and all died by suicide. Forline was found at an off-base location on September 14 and died by suicide, then five days later both Shelton and Stuart were found dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds in "separate incidents" at off-base locations, reports CNN.

The Navy Times reports Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Robert John Bartulewicz III's death in July was the first death by suicide involving a Bush crew member since late 2017. No enlisted or commissioned leaders have been relieved or reassigned in the wake of the suicides, reports The Navy Times.

The commanding officer of the Bush called for the naval community to come together "to grieve, to support each other, and to care for those in need."

"We need all hands to engage by bringing forward your suggestions and ideas for how we can work together to prevent another suicide. I want to reiterate that there is never any stigma or repercussion from seeking help," Captain Sean Bailey said in a Facebook post.

Since 2016 the number of suicides among Navy servicemen and servicewomen has increased steadily, according to The Navy Times.

Last year the number of confirmed and suspected suicides in the active-duty Marine Corps and the Navy reached a 10-year high, CNN reports. 

If you or someone you know is in crisis, connect with a trained medical or mental health professional immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, 24/7 service that can provide those who are suicidal with support, information and local resources. Call 800-273-TALK (8255) for help now. Active duty, Guard and reserve members — along with their families and friends — can contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access online chat by texting 838255. 

Suicide Prevention Infographic 2018 by EntercomSTL on Scribd

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