Another Way To Die

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by W.Anchor, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. The Associated Press State & Local Wire

    February 6, 2006 Monday 3:11 AM GMT

    HEADLINE: Troops returning from war zones dying on motorcycles


    More troops have died in off-duty motorcycle accidents after they returned from duty in Afghanistan than have been killed fighting there since Sept. 11, 2001, safety records show.

    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."
  2. Young blokes on motorbikes (especially the latest 150+HP Super sports) are always going to have accidents. I used to rip round on my blade then Duke post Ireland and Boz and lost the odd friend to biking accidents. I was a complete arrse. However civvie mates with bikes were just the same. It's more of an age thing than anything else.
    I just hope that reports like this don't lead to rediculous anti bike legislation that the liberal, PC, communazi control Brigade would love to see introduced
  3. A result of a long (12 month) enforced savings plan courtesy of the army. Loads of cash and testosterone, a fine cocktail

    The reality is, the most dangerous thing anybody does is travel by road whether in theatre, at home, on holiday and that's in a car. throw in insanely fast bikes and you've got a winner.

    I know this! I crashed every bike I owned and even test rode. Not clever but fun. Self employment, responsibilities and a bit of age saw me trade the 900 ninja (slow by todays standards) for something a little less likely to have me doing soup through a straw for the rest of my life.

    As a foot note, a friend who I worked with and introduced to the joy of bikes came off and killed himself after six months riding

    Excellent buzz getting titanium sliders down on your favourite corner/roundabout, very fast machines, just don't let anything hard reduce your velocity to fast when you chuck it.

    Ask rincewind (think its him)

  4. Parallels with Lawrence of Arabia, surely?

  5. Also is the fact that you get rusty after not riding for 2 months, never mind a year!. Being a fine weather rider, it takes me 3 - 4 weeks to get my skills back after the TL1000R has been layed up for the winter. Blokes come back from tours, jump on the bike, and bin it in all manner of spectacular ways (me included)
  6. Not really Smithie. Lawrence was as mad as a march hare and bikes were just a release for his dark moods. He actually wrote that risking his life was the only release from the blackness.
    This is different to John Q buckshee tom, with a pocket full of cash and a belly full of adrenaline.
    In my opinion that is, I am sure others will disagree.
  7. One of my drivers bought himself a crotch rocket after he got back, had a fall within about a month (He's OK). He hadn't ridden a sports bike before he bought it.

    Almost everyone in my platoon bought a new vehicle. We were all cautioned about how many returning soldiers, with cash to burn, have been buying high-horsepower vehicles and then killing/injuring themselves in them. Being the responsible ossifer that I am, I listened to this advice, and promptly bought a 340hp Audi.

  8. Guys, **** sake!

    Bikes are the #1 cause of squaddie death in peacetime! Hasn't history taught you lot anything?
  9. True as it may be, they are fun....
  10. Did it myself. Got back from Telic 1 and decided to ride down from JHQ to Mugello for the Italian GP. Jumped on the bike to take to Bruggen village to get it serviced. Hit the slip road at about 220KMH. Realising that it was a tad too fast to get round the slip, I stood it up and ran over the grass. Luckily there was no culvert in the middle and hit the down ramp onto the Autobahn still doing about 130 KMH. I rode up to the next junction, pulled off and went for a brew to calm down. I was VERY lucky. I had spent the last 3 and a half months winding myself up in to thinking that I was Valentino Rossi. I learned a lesson, and for the first couple of weeks in the spring I take it very carefully (but still a lot faster than Santa Sunday has ever been). The other point is that I thought you couldn't go fast enough to kill yourself on a Harley?
  11. (but still a lot faster than Santa Sunday has ever been)

    Is there really any need for that....??

    No - I didn't think so.........
  12. Yes.

    Buy a bike. Quicker and more fun than a tour...........
  13. Got back from NI, went on POTL, got on ZZR600, threw self off ZZR and broke collar bone. What an adrenalin rush after all that boredom.
  14. Sorry, but totally irresponsible shitejobs like you should have their licences taken away for life!!
    You're a representative of the British Army and your country at all times, soldier. And acting like a complete fücking grumble and grunt just to brag to your mates just doesn't cut it.
    Get real and get a fücking grip, mate!

  15. Ahhh excellent, cotton wool and bubble wrap all round.

    Have you ridden that section of (un speed limited) Autobahn? :roll: