My three deployments, to include my current one to Djibouti, have had a disturbing common thread — the American Roundup section of Stars and Stripes. We prefer to call that section the “dead-kid” section. We literally say “go” and simultaneously open the paper to the middle and race to see who can spot the “dead-kid” story first. It’s a game we play here.

Barely a day goes by when there isn’t a juvenile fatality reported in your center section (e.g., toddler falls from hotel balcony, grandmother backs SUV over grandchild, twins drown while fishing, brother accidentally shoots first-grader little brother).

Here are a few selected headlines from Oct. 22 (today’s copy as I write this letter): “Boy hit by falling rock at falls in critical condition” (2-year-old injured); “Police: 77-year-old is beaten for comics, dies” (elderly man dead); “Police arrest speeding driver, find body in truck” (52-year-old man dead) and “Man pleads guilty to murder in fatal chase” (16-year-old youth dead).

The fatality stories are normally surrounded by positive photos in the center. Those are great. Aren’t there stories available from the U.S. that lean a little more toward the uplifting or positive?

Please take a break from all the tragic death stories. It’s depressing.

Capt. Brent M. Buckley

Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti

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