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'Give them a verbal hug': Emails show how the Navy scrambled to manage a spate of suicides


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As the USS George Washington reeled from a spate of suicides two years ago, Navy leaders reacted with anger and denial while discussing news coverage of the deaths and whether to promote the sailors posthumously, according to emails obtained by NBC News.

After five sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier died by suicide within a year, including three in one week in April 2022, some of the ship’s commanders dismissed claims about poor living and working conditions, and at least one of them admitted to having a weak grasp of the mental health issues that plagued his sailors, the messages show. 

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