Martin Bashir | February 04, 2013
>>> the shocking death of navy s.e.a.l. chris kyle has brought the crisis of post-traumatic stress disorder back into the headlines. the man charged in the shooting of kyle and one other person, 25-year-old eddie routh, has been described as a troubled vet tron whom they were trying to help. a friend who assisted kyle with his nonprofit work said chris died doing what filled his heart with passion, serving soldiers struggling with the fight to overcome ptsd. his service, life, and premature death will never be in vain. let's bring in msnbc military analyst colonel jack jacobs , who is a recipient of the medal of honor . colonel, we only just saw an incredibly disheartened report from the department of veteran affairs on suicide among veterans. 22 veterans per day or one every 65 minutes kills himself or herself. now, given the enormity of this crisis, are we doing enough?
>> well, you can never do enough, and there are lots of reasons for it. i think --
>> but are we doing the bare minimum given these numbers?
>> i think we're doing the bare minimum, but part of the problem is it is difficult to do we ought to be doing more before the fact. i mean, one question that comes immediately to mind is, are all the people we're bringing into the services, are they capable of handling what it takes to be in the military? and then we discover after the fact that there were problems before and so on. we're in an environment in which we have an all- volunteer force . we need to do a better job at assessing time. we don't take just anybody.
>> well, chris kyle was known as the most lethal sniper in american military history . he was shown among his comrades for reaching out to them. the suspect is thought to be one of the very people chris kyle was helping. isn't this a call in and of itself for additional government assistance in terms of the condition of these people? because as we know, it's very hard to ascertain on occasions whether someone is suffering with ptsd.
>> that's part of the problem. as you know, we've spoken before, there used to be a tremendous stigma about identifying yourself --
>> and we're quite a bit better now and the chain of command is very much involved in identifying people while they're on active duty as having problems. but when troops leave the service, that's when it's important that the service makes sure that the veterans administration knows that there are people who may have problems. i'm not certain that the service is doing the best job they can to make sure the va is identified.
>> we don't know the exact details of this case, but there's been some speculation that this individual was at a shooting range because there was an opportunity as it were for exposure therapy, what psychiatrists describe in treating people with these kind of conditions, taking them back to using things like weapons that they may have used in the field. isn't that though in and of itself a dangerous thing --
>> i'm no psychiatrist but i'm telling if you somebody was unstable, the last thing in the world i'd give them is a gun and access to guns. you know, so this sort of amateur psychology that takes place among well-meaning people, their hearts are in the right place but this is one case that demonstrates that this kind of stuff ought to be left to the professionals.
>> it's sad, indeed.
>> very sad.
>> colonel jack jacobs . thanks.