The editorial “The stressed soldier” (Aug. 17) aptly explains the lugubrious living conditions of army personnel. The military personnel can be said to be in constant quarantine from the date of their induction. Their inability to spend time with their families, their stressful living conditions and the threat of stringent court martial drive the fickle-minded to resort to suicide or ‘fragging.’ These factors may, in fact, deter many youths from joining the armed forces.

R.M. Manoharan,

Chennai

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The strength of an army is equal to the number of men multiplied by morale and dedication of the soldier. This is simple arithmetic, which I am sure the government understands. Deploying a large force along the borders alone cannot guarantee security. Mitigating the stress levels of soldiers, improving officer-men relationship, better pay, etc., are also matters of national security.

Vijay Krishnan,

Chennai

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Lack of interpersonal relationship in the hierarchy, a longing to spend time with families and challenging situations on duty are the reasons for the escalating stress among the army personnel. The need of the hour is to give them the confidence that their careers, welfare, families and future will be protected at any cost by the system.

A. Raghunatha Reddy,

Kadapa

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The editorial has highlighted an important issue concerning the second largest army. Deployment in strife-torn regions, despite the rigorous physical and mental training, is a difficult proposition. Tough living conditions combined with long spells of separation from the family can scar an individual psychologically. It is reassuring to see that there is an increased awareness on the issue and the government has identified the problem areas.

Sindhu Sekar,

Chennai

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The stressed soldierAugust 17, 2009

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