A U.S. Navy sailor has revealed how horrific conditions on the USS George Washington drove her to attempt suicide – with five other sailors stationed on the ship who took their lives in space in just one year.
Hannah Crisostomo, of Menifee, Californiawho was 17 when she enlisted in the Navy and boarded the USS George Washington, claiming that the abuse she suffered on the ship prompted her to swallow 196 pain survivors last May, NBC reported.
She was taken to hospital because her brain was swollen from the overdose, but survived and managed to recover after she was discharged from the Navy and returned home.
The ship is currently docked in Virginia Beach for a complete overhaul. Crisostomo says construction continues 24 hours a day, preventing it from sleeping.
Large parts of the ship have no electricity, which means that many sailors instead choose to sleep in cars parked in a nearby parking lot.
Other shipmates attempted to kill themselves after Crisostomo’s hospitalization, with at least five suicides confirmed by military officials since then, three of which occurred within a week of each other earlier this month.
“The command is pushing you to that point,” Crisostomo, now 20, told NBC, adding that she could not stop because she had signed a five-year contract and that sailors were overworked and less likely to ask for help. .
‘Being in the Navy was all I ever wanted. I wanted to be part of something big to help the country.
“I was robbed of that, and I did not deserve it,” she said.
Nautica Robinson, 23, a crew member who also tried to kill herself last May, echoed that ‘toxic leadership’ was to blame for the string of suicides.
Robinson, who had served since 2019 before being fired in February, told NBC that she had repeatedly asked for better mental health support on board the ship, but claimed she did not receive much help, even after she said she in 2020 was sexually abused by another sailor outside the base.
“It’s life-draining,” Robinson said. ‘It’s really sad to see that the place you work for can take so much of you.
“They just threw us back into the environment, like our attempted suicide did not happen,” she added. “The things that pushed those sailors overboard did not exist.”
Hannah Crisostomo, 20, (pictured) swallowed 196 painkillers last May. She said she was overwhelmed by the conditions aboard the USS George Washington, where five other crew members killed themselves after her suicide attempt.
Crisostomo lamented the alleged lack of leadership on board the boat and the failure of the sailors’ mental health. She claimed that no one came to help her when she sought help
Nautica Robinson, 23, (above) a crew member who also tried to kill herself last May, echoed that ‘toxic leadership’ was to blame for the string of suicides on board the ship
Robinson said she has repeatedly called for leadership to provide better mental health support for sailors, but received little help, even after saying she was sexually abused by another off-base sailor in 2020.
At least five crew members aboard the USS George Washington (pictured) were confirmed dead by suicide. There have been others who have tried but failed to kill themselves
Crisostomo, who was dealing with a bipolar disorder that had yet to be diagnosed, said that after her first six months, she first sought help from leadership aboard the USS George Washington.
She said she was told to seek help on her own time, but because she worked the night services, there was no one to help.
When she swallowed the pain relievers, Crisostomo was put on life support for eight days with doctors warning her family that they might never get normal brain functions back.
But when she woke up, her mental state continued to decline for fear of having to return aboard the USS George Washington.
“If they keep me in the Navy, and they put me back in the same situation, I’ll kill myself,” she recalls, “and I’ll be successful next time.”
Crisostomo and other sailors, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, told NBC News that 24-hour building noise made it nearly impossible to sleep on board the ship.
While most sailors on board can leave the ship to sleep at home, those coming from the state and lack of housing in Virginia, where the ship is docked, are left with a few options.
The sailors told NBC that many choose to sleep in their cars after nearly 12 hours of work.
They said the conditions on the ship became unbearable due to the fact that the boat went through an overhaul, a rigorous maintenance and repair process that occurs once in the 50-year life of a nuclear ship.
During the overhaul, the sailors said they were degraded to small tasks and worked on cleaning the ship every day, with one sailor telling NBC that he just sat on an amer with a fire extinguisher for two hours.
He said he quickly became depressed and lost more than 80 pounds before being transferred from the USS George Washington last year due to an injury.
Marine Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Russell Smith told crew members in an address on Monday that he knew working conditions had been quite comfortable during the audit and acknowledged that there was a suicide problem on the ship.
‘Suicide beating is like beating cancer,’ he said, ‘there are many different causes, many different reasons.’
Smith, however, rejected the idea that the ship was suffering from poor living standards and said that while sailors could discuss their concerns, they ‘should deal with reasonable expectations.’
The Navy has not commented on the string of suicides and suicide attempts on board the ship, but said it is committed to preventing future tragedies.
‘We remain committed to ensuring that our carriers are staffed, trained and equipped at optimal levels, including embedded providers of mental health,’ ‘Rear Adm. John F. Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in a statement.
Mika’il Rayshawn Sharp, 23, (pictured) killed himself on April 9. His mother said the young man was excited to start a family with his new wife
Natasha Huffman, 23, (above) killed herself on April 10. Friends said they asked for help several times, but were provided with little assistance before the end of their lives.
Xavier Hunter Sandor (above) killed himself on April 15. His father said the sailor slept in his car and every 8 weekends drove home from Virginia to Connecticut to get away
Within a span of one week, the USS George Washington Specialist for Retail Services 3rd Class Mika’il Rayshawn Sharp lost on April 9, Electrician for Interior Communications 3rd Class Natasha Huffman on April 10, and Master-at-Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Sandor on 15 April after suicide.
Sharp’s mother, Natalie Jefferson, told NBC that the 23-year-old was just married last year with plans to buy a house and start a family with his wife.
“He was the life of the party,” Jefferson said. “He never showed his pain.”
One sailor on board the ship said Huffman, 23, was suffering and unable to get help from the Navy before her life ended.
“She did not get any help from the Navy, as much as she tried,” the sailor told NBC. “And then we got the call that she was no longer with us.”
Robinson, a friend of Huffman’s, said the two were united over the conditions on the ship.
“She said it drained, it’s tired,” Robinson told NBC. ‘How going to the psychiatric ward helped, but being sent back to the same place in George Washington, we both talked about it.’
“They really, really failed them,” she added.
Sandor’s father, John, said his son had complained about the conditions on the ship and slept in his car after completing 12-hour shifts.
“He always said it was suck, and I would always say to ask for help,” John told NBC. ‘He would say,’ Dad, they do not give a ***. It does not matter to her. ‘ That was always his reaction to me. ‘
John noted that conditions were so bad that his son would drive 8 hours every other weekend to visit the family at their home in Connecticut to get far away from the ship.
In 2020, 19 out of every 100.00 sailors died by suicide, according to the most recent data available from the Pentagon. The army has the highest rate with about 36 per 100,000 soldiers.
Last week, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said officials are actively working to limit the numbers.
‘We do not want to show a sailor damage or injury or lose their life, period, no matter what the cause. “But I can tell you that the Navy has taken this very seriously,” Kirby told reporters.
US Navy sailors describe toxic working environment aboard USS George Washington
Source link US Navy sailors describe toxic working environment aboard USS George Washington