Such a sepsis is also threatening for young, physically fit people, and the high outside temperature has additionally aggravated the development of the disease, « explains environmental doctor Hans-Peter Hutter from the Medical University of Vienna.

Such a sepsis is also threatening for young, physically fit people, and the high outside temperature has additionally aggravated the development of the disease, « explains environmental doctor Hans-Peter Hutter from the Medical University of Vienna.

Toni P. holds out for three kilometers. Then he gets dizzy. The 19-year-old recruit collapses during a march on the grounds of the Horn barracks. When first aid does not work, he is returned to the troop accommodation. On the way there he loses consciousness. An emergency doctor takes P. to the hospital. But even there the doctors can no longer do anything for the young Viennese. He dies the same day. What exactly has not yet been finally clarified. First there is talk of an infection, then of heat death. After all, the outside temperature in Lower Austria was 36 degrees at the time of the march. An autopsy shows: Toni P. had an acute infection. Haemophilus influenzae type B bacteria and streptococci were found in his blood. This disease led to sepsis and ultimately cardiac arrest.

Heat increased sepsis

« Such sepsis is also threatening for young, physically fit people, and the high outside temperature has additionally increased the development of the disease, » explains environmental doctor Hans-Peter Hutter from the Medical University of Vienna. Sepsis, also known colloquially as « blood poisoning », is when pathogens start from a local inflammation and spread through the blood throughout the body and attack vital organs there. Around 7,500 people die from it every year in Austria. Sepsis can sometimes occur relatively quickly, says Hutter, but he still thinks it is possible that P. fell ill before the march started. «  » It is likely that he started off weakened. «  »

© APA / HERBERT PFARRHOFER 2017: Toni P. died in the Horn barracks during basic training

So had P. underestimated an initial feeling of weakness? Should trainers have noticed his condition earlier? The extent to which the armed forces are partly responsible for the death of Toni P. will only be known at the end of August, when the final report of the investigative commission is available. Until then, the carousel of accusations will probably continue to turn on a political level. While some are now raving about new feedback systems in the army and others are once again questioning the concept of conscription, Toni P.’s family and friends need to clarify a completely different question: How to continue, how to deal with the loss of a loved one?

Because it should really have gone like this: get through military service quickly and then off to university, says a friend and water polo teammate. He and P. played in the same club in Vienna for five years. «  » Toni wanted to go to university as soon as possible. That is why he did the armed forces and not the community service, «  » he says.https://123helpme.me/ Toni P. was very ambitious – also at school. Recently, he had often skipped sports training, the Matura was too important to him. But he was there for his friend. “Toni never turned me down.” “The water polo colleague found out about P.’s death from the newspaper. «  » I couldn’t believe it, I read it over and over again. Then I called Toni’s father to ask if it was really him. «  » After all, my friend knew P. as a fit athlete who never had any health problems. He is now reproaching the armed forces: « You should have taken better care of him there. » « 

The fact that the summer heat puts a lot of strain on a healthy body, but doubles on a sick one, is also emphasized by Hutter. «  » The body reacts to heat by sweating. The resulting liquid cools. «  » In order to make us sweat, the skin has to be supplied with blood accordingly. «  » The heart has to pump up to twice as often as at normal temperature. «  » P.’s body must have been overwhelmed with the pathogens in the blood and the temperature load in total, so that his heart finally stopped beating.

The sudden death of the young recruit brings the issue of training in the armed forces back to the public. On social media and in newspapers, descriptions by former military servants are making the rounds that resemble a diary of the tortures.

Men who have long since left the barracks report online about their experiences with the army, which looks more like a boot camp full of harassment and flayers. Right? «  » Yes, but only if we wrote in 1987 and not 2017, « says Stefan Fuchs. He is Colonel of the General Staff and Commander of the Panzer Grenadier Brigade in Hörsching, Upper Austria. He reports to 1,300 professional soldiers who are responsible for training young soldiers in large parts of Upper and Lower Austria. «  » The case in Horn made us very upset, «  » he says, «  » the march that was scheduled there was actually harmless at seven kilometers and twelve kilos of luggage. But when you’re sick, a kilometer is already too much. It is therefore important to find out whether our comrade was feeling bad before and whether he reported this. «  »

© News 2004: Recruits mime hostages in Freistadt © News 2005: Soldiers are beaten up in Wels

March 20 kilometers

The 41-year-old Fuchs has been with the army for 23 years and is convinced that many of the anecdotes that circulate in public have little to do with the reality in local barracks. «  » Of course marches are part of the training, «  » he explains. «  » How long and in what weather is a question of common sense. The trainers know their troops and know what to expect from them. «  » Once they have got used to it after the first few weeks, the limit for marches is a maximum of 20 kilometers. If it is very hot, like these days, the luggage has to be reduced, additional water and an emergency paramedic have to be taken along.

And yet the stories of harassed military servants are startling. They bring back memories of scandals in the past, which brought the barracks in Wels and Freistadt into disrepute (see info box). Every year there are around 47,000 persons obliged to take legal action in Austria, of which 34,000 are found fit. A little more than half opt for the six-month military service. And many of them wonder where the line between schools and fling lies there. For example with the notorious push-ups that are often used for exercise? « As a punishment or disciplinary measure and for the amusement of the troops, however, they are an absolute taboo, » says Colonel Fuchs. Even the infamous «  » masked ball «  » does not serve as a chicane. What is meant by this is the constant changing of the adjustment and the packing of the baggage during the drill. «  » Repeating this and practicing it makes sense and is part of the training, « says Fuchs, » « because the soldier has to be able to cope with an emergency, even in the dark and under stress. » and clarify purpose. «  » When I signed up in 1994, there was still a lot of trouble. I can also create a chicane like that by letting people do it for seven hours. Since then the armed forces have learned, sometimes painfully, and the training of recruits has reached a high standard. «  »

Screams and harassment

Nevertheless, it is also clear to Fuchs that even today not everyone follows this noble image of the army. They still exist. The trainers who flog and bully, scream and grind. «  » With 16,000 soldiers, 2,500 of whom train basic military servants every day, there are of course black sheep, «  » he says, «  » but at some point constant misconduct can no longer be concealed, the control meshes are tight, and you don’t have to believe that they are still put up with young people today. They know exactly what their rights are. «  » Fuchs points out that the feedback form for recruits suggested by the Greens has been in use across the board since 2014. In addition, soldiers can complain internally to the company commanders or call in the parliamentary federal army commission in the event of grievances. The number of such complaints fell from 504 in 2011 to 144 in 2016.

The armed forces have also become a reflection of social change. Much of what was tacitly accepted decades ago now leads to disciplinary proceedings and even termination. «  » This is especially true for insulting recruits, « says Fuchs, » « in such cases there is no tolerance, that has no place in barracks and harms the image of the army. » « But whether the armed forces are also a port of call for the faint of heart Boys are good, Fuchs cannot answer. Ultimately, the choice between civil and military service is a decision of conscience. «  » One thing is clear: the basic military servant is trained as a soldier, otherwise we can save ourselves the whole thing. Therefore, a certain amount of physical performance and stamina is certainly necessary. «  » Whether the army was able to correctly assess this in the case of the deceased recruit Toni P. will have to be determined by the public prosecutor.

Chronology – scandals in the armed forces

December 2003: Mock executions in Bludesch barracks

In the course of a hostage exercise in the Bludesch barracks in Vorarlberg, cadre soldiers were exposed to sham shootings. At that time it became known that such incidents had already occurred in Langenlebarn in 2000. There they even shot at the recruits with blank cartridges.

December 2004: Torture affair in the Freistadt barracks

Around 80 basic soldiers from the Freistadt barracks were victims of a staged hostage-taking as part of their training. After a two-day march over 40 kilometers, the soldiers had to pull plastic bags over their heads and crawl in the dirt next to a compost heap.

February 2005: Basic military service in Wels beaten to death

In the course of an exercise to contain riots, military servants in Wels had to portray demonstrators. Without any protective clothing, they were beaten with batons by cadre soldiers. Lacerations, shoulder, calf and finger bruises were the result.

August 2005 :: The sad climax of a series of suicides in Burgenland

During an assistance mission on the Burgenland-Hungarian border, a 22-year-old recruit from Styria shot himself with his assault rifle. It is the fifth suicide by a soldier in Burgenland within a year.

October 2009: Soldier dies in target practice in Allentsteig

During a military exercise at the Allentsteig military training area in Lower Austria, a shell exploded inside a self-propelled howitzer. A 20-year-old professional soldier was killed and a military servant suffered serious injuries.

March 2010: Soldier falls to his death in a parachute jump near Lienz

Because his parachute and reserve parachute did not open, a 28-year-old soldier from Burgendland died during a commando exercise in Nikolsdorf near Lienz. In 2005 and 1998, too, fatal parachute accidents occurred in the Austrian army.

July 2012: Training trip with tanks in Allentsteig ends fatally

During a training trip at the Allentsteig military training area, an armored personnel carrier fell into a mud hole and almost completely sank. The 21-year-old driver and professional soldier from Lower Austria was killed. The 27-year-old commandant was injured.

August 2017: Recruit dies after a station march in Horner barracks

For a 19-year-old military man from Vienna, a station march at the training area of ​​the Horner barracks ended fatally. The autopsy revealed an acute infection that led to sepsis and ultimately cardiac arrest. The investigations are still ongoing.

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The tragic death of a young recruit in Horn again calls into question the training in the armed forces. What is really going on behind the barracks gates? And where is the line between schools and fling? An attempt to clarify.

Toni P. holds out for three kilometers. Then he gets dizzy. The 19-year-old recruit collapses during a march on the grounds of the Horn barracks. When first aid does not work, he is returned to the troop accommodation. On the way there he loses consciousness. An emergency doctor takes P. to the hospital. But even there the doctors can no longer do anything for the young Viennese. He dies the same day. What exactly has not yet been finally clarified. First there is talk of an infection, then of heat death. After all, the outside temperature in Lower Austria was 36 degrees at the time of the march. An autopsy shows: Toni P. had an acute infection. Haemophilus influenzae type B bacteria and streptococci were found in his blood. This disease led to sepsis and ultimately cardiac arrest.

Heat increased sepsis

« Such sepsis is also threatening for young, physically fit people, and the high outside temperature has additionally increased the development of the disease, » explains environmental doctor Hans-Peter Hutter from the Medical University of Vienna. Sepsis, also known colloquially as « blood poisoning », is when pathogens start from a local inflammation and spread through the blood throughout the body and attack vital organs there. Around 7,500 people die from it every year in Austria. Sepsis can sometimes occur relatively quickly, says Hutter, but he still thinks it is possible that P. fell ill before the march started. «  » It is likely that he started off weakened. «  »

© APA / HERBERT PFARRHOFER 2017: Toni P. died in the Horn barracks during basic training

So had P. underestimated an initial feeling of weakness? Should trainers have noticed his condition earlier? The extent to which the armed forces are partly responsible for the death of Toni P. will only be known at the end of August, when the final report of the investigative commission is available. Until then, the carousel of accusations will probably continue to turn on a political level. While some are now raving about new feedback systems in the army and others are once again questioning the concept of conscription, Toni P.’s family and friends need to clarify a completely different question: How to continue, how to deal with the loss of a loved one?