Army suicides at a record high last month
A soldier on patrol in Afghanistan. Photo by ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
August 16th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Army suicides at a record high last month

By Larry Shaughnessy

The U.S. Army reported 32 suicides and potential suicides in the month of July, the highest total since the service began publicly releasing such statistics 2 ½ years ago. And the problem is even worse than the Pentagon's news releases would indicate.

Each month the Army sends out a press report saying how many soldiers have committed suicide.
According to those news releases, as of July 31 of this year 151 soldiers had apparently taken their own lives.
But a document obtained by CNN shows that the Army has actually counted 163 suicides this year.
The Army counts them in terms of confirmed suicides and "potential" suicides, which are deaths that are suspected of being suicide but the official investigation has not been completed. Most of the time, potential suicides are confirmed as actual suicides.

As for why 12 of the suicides were not included in the news releases, Lt. Col. Laurel Devine explained that sometimes, long after the news releases go out, investigators realize a soldier's death is at least a "potential" suicide.

The problem may also come from the fact that of the four branches of service, the Army is the most transparent about the issue of suicide.
The Army is the only branch that sends out a monthly news release, while the other services will release the suicide information only when asked.

"Every suicide represents a tragic loss to our Army and the Nation. While the high number of potential suicides in July is discouraging, we are confident our efforts aimed at increasing individuals' resiliency, while reducing incidence of at-risk and high-risk behavior across the Force, are having a positive impact," Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff and its point man on the issue of suicide, said in a statement.  "We absolutely recognize there is much work to be done and remain committed to ensuring our people are cared for and have ready access to the best possible programs and services."

Chiarelli spends much of his time dealing with the suicide issue and looking for answers, in part because the problem appears to be much worse for the Army than the other branches.

So far in 2011, the Air Force has had 28 suicides, the Marines 21 and the Navy 33. Even though those three services have a combined total force equal to the Army's, their number of suicides are about half the Army's 163.

No one knows why it's worse among the Army other than the fact that it's the biggest branch of service.

"Any act of suicide is a tragedy," said Bryan Whitman, a spokesman for the Pentagon. "It's often very difficult to have any sort of causal relationship to these trends. Each one of them is an individual set of circumstances that range from broken relationship to stress from deployments."

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soundoff (476 Responses)
  1. Randy Ubaldo

    I simply couldn't go away your website before suggesting that I actually loved the standard information a person provide in your visitors? Is going to be back steadily to check out new posts

    August 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • Mouna

      July goals were to do more drawing. Did it. Take care of my hlaeth I got my blood sugar and cholesterol levels pretty much back to normal.I also wanted to get to the museum and see the new Tiffany additions. I decided to wait until Sept when Friday afternoons are free.Goals for August are to update my wardrobe before my Sept vacation, get more highlights in my hair and make some beaded bracelets. I already have the beads and wire, I just need to put them all together. It's more like jewelry rehab to remake some things I already have.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
  2. Angelina

    Its not worse among the Army, the Marines just don't like said "don't send out unless asked" the reports. So, there could be attempted suicides and suicides that they have sent or didn't document. I see more Marines then Army to be honest committing suicide.

    March 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  3. FlyOne8

    This article is sort of mind boggling. It's revolting to see how insensitive the people of this country has become – I'm certainly not impressed! I hate how people can compare WWII and the current wars – they are two wars, in two completely different times in history. Judging by the comments on this thread, if you want to compare wars, look at Vietnam. The citizens of this selfish country have easily forgotten what's been happening for the past ten years. Just for the record, any death is a tragedy. It has nothing to do with being weak or a pansy. At the end of the day, those that have taken their lives still served their country, and still are a hero of sorts. At the end of the day, they have done more for their country than the vast majority.

    August 18, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  4. Christina

    As a military spouse I have 1st hand experience with these poor men and women who take there own lives. Each one having there own reasons or beliefs but I believe a big part of the problem is the fact that they can not go to there chain of command and say "hey i have been kinda depressed" and get the help they need. I have seen nco's openly make fun of a soilder for being depressed, calling him weak and adding to the issue. They will not allow the time to get help. Therapy should be a requirement for our men and women returning from deployments. Now they are counting men and women who took there own lives but what about the ones who take the life of loved ones or try to? The stress of the training is hard enough then adding deployments to the stress just makes the situation worse.

    August 18, 2011 at 1:20 am | Reply
  5. Allan

    The army chain of command does not really care about any soldier who gets depressed , suicidal, PTSD , or anxiety... I talk this from the fact that it happened to me. They threatened me that I will get a dishonorable discharge if I keep going to my appointments ( which I had to do on my free time ; ya free time in the army good luck) They keep working you to death. I sware that the army life ruined every relationship I have. I have seen many marriges fail because of the army life. I love and take a great honor in serving my country, Its just the leadership that the army has needs to change !!! Leaders need to start taking care of their soldiers not just saying but actually doing. Stop giving a hard time to every soldier who got hurt, on profile , suffers from some kind of disorder from deployments .. let them get all the medical attention they need so they can return to duty 100% ready ! God bless our troops and all those who serve !!!!

    August 18, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
  6. Horrible hours

    Maybe because the army works you to death. 6am to 5pm at the earliest. Many weeks and weekends away from home. My buddies and I look forward to Afghanistan deployments. We work less and enjoy it compared to state side training. The other services come in later and leave earlier. I have never seen the sun during the non summer months I am at work before sunrise and go home after sunset. Crazy! The army rarely gets anything right.

    August 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  7. John

    The people who join the army should be able to know what the cost of war can do to a person. If they want to join, then be something such as a military accountant. But to be on the front line, is a burden to much to carry not to be felt.
    They should all study the psychological and physical effects of war.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  8. Curtis Smith

    The ARMY has so many because of the moral, also the stupid standard the the command teams have from Company level all the way up. I blame the lowest level command team. That is the level at which you make or break a unit. They don't care as long as the mission is accomplished…what ever it takes.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  9. charles

    Sad... 163 suicides in July is an average of over five every day (or 5 one day, 6 the next, for those of you whole require whole numbers).

    August 17, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • GizzyN

      There weren't 163 suicides in July... there were 32. There have been 163 suicides since the beginning of the year.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  10. TmaN222PFC

    Im in the national guard as an infantryman, and my brother serves in Korea right now with the Army. I'd like to see anyone of u military hater talk shit about the military like how you do on this blog to my face!! it would be lights out scumbag. so piss off!

    August 17, 2011 at 9:06 am | Reply
    • Tim

      Was this necessary?

      August 17, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
  11. ghostonefour

    Well, thanks to the LIberals we are no longer allowed to train boys to be men and teach them how to kill and how to deal with it like a man. The liberals like to sue when Drill SGT gets mad at them, they like to hold their time out cards up, and this is all thanks to the liberals in Washington, when a parent hears how "mistreated" her baby boy is at boot camp, she calls her congressman... usually a Democrat.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:56 am | Reply
  12. flarnkingsgargle

    and yet, despite this report, the military industry thrives in CA and TX.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:00 am | Reply
  13. ChrisM106

    The answer is pretty obvious. The Army has the longest deployment times which generally results in greater stress in personal relationships.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:22 am | Reply
    • Cavtanker28

      Therein lies the problem with identifying the cause, Chris; roughly half of the suicides haven't yet deployed.

      It's been pointed out before, but it's been drowned out in a lot of the tangential topics that've popped up over this issue.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:48 am | Reply
      • Me211

        I was in the Navy and Served with the Army in Iraq for over a year. We had a suicide, and it didn't have to do with the stress that was put on them from being in the military as much as it was the stress with family. Not just the wife and kids, but the Mom's, Dad's, Grandparents, friends and hopeful girlfriends as well. These same stresses and the demand of a job that requires more from you than anyone that hasn't been there can understand. Yet, I was able to to at least find a book that helped me realize how to deal with the problems, not the symptoms, but the actual problem. The book is "Understanding Conflict: A Resource for the Military Family" and can be found on Amazon. There is also a program with it, which I believe is called Operation: Soldier At Ease. The great thing was, it wasn't that big of a book and it actually helped because it told me to do something besides work on my communication skills.

        August 17, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  14. Shawn

    Apparently, for some people, being all you can be doesn't account for very much.

    August 17, 2011 at 4:48 am | Reply
  15. Honesty

    Look here's the thing. Doesnt matter what color, race, religion, sex and age you are suicide is present. The fact is society as a whole has become a problem. Respect for the individual has been diluted by the lack of parenting. People have lost perspective of caring for themselves or other individuals. You have kids commiting suicide, because bullying has gone from pushing a kid or calling them some stupid silly name too, flat out beatings by the masses instead of an individual. Teachers, parents, brothers and sisters have become decensored, to just how much of an impact a group causes. Same as war, people sitting at home on a couch become decensored by imagines on they TV they forget the harsh reality of having friends, loveones, longtime buddies blood or limbs hitting you in the face. For some this isnt the first time. I'm not Army, but I'm military. The Army is the largest force we have, yes they numbers are high. But they serve in the most diffficult branch we have, they expected to stand and shoot and they do it well. I have friends from infrantrymen to Green Berets. All know someone who has been pushed to the brink, not always because of war. But many recieve bad news of family members passing, and feel responsibly because they were not there. Wives or Husbands cheating on they other half's while deployed. Using alchol or drugs to try to hide they problems. All these can be steps to feeling the only decision is to take they life. We as human's should put our hand out to help those we can. Losing one life to war is a tradegy, but the war in Afghanistan was just. I agree it needs to end quickly, but for those lost by the hands of others or by they own due to this war. Would be disrespectful to those that have fallen, not to end it right.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:46 am | Reply
  16. southernlass

    I must agree with a previous statement that we are allowing people into our military that are more a burden than a help in an actual fight. It's wonderful to want to help your country but unless you can remove yourself emotionally parts of military life will destroy you. I have never served but the men in my family did in fact my oldest nephew left monday to begin life in the airforce and i have no doubt he is man enough for what lays ahead. We live in a world where we train our children to be pansies and i fear for our future if everyone turns into the old image of the flower carrying hippie.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:02 am | Reply
    • Vision40

      You have to remember that people THINK that they are strong enough to be in the military. It's not until they are in that it started to change them. It's impossible to know how someone is going to be effected by military life. You can be surprised by the weakest people and let down by the strongest.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:32 am | Reply
    • james

      The people killing themselves are 'hard soldiers', not people who would be an 'emotional burden' in a fight.

      Hard soldiers put the emotions aside, but when they come back from war – that's when the deal with it and process it. That's when they are vulnerable. Not when the are fighting.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:35 am | Reply
      • Vision40

        Where are you getting these facts from James? There are people that commit suicide in Basic Training. Are they hardened soldiers at that point?

        Anyone can commit sucide. Deployments are hard on EVERY job in the military.

        August 17, 2011 at 3:52 am |
      • IntheKnow

        Many of the soldiers on the list have never been deployed and many are just recently enlisted. There is an increased risk due to the stress of a deployment but for the most part the psychological standards for enlistment in to service are too low.

        August 17, 2011 at 8:12 am |
    • hrt

      I had a brother commit suicide while serving in the Navy. He was no pansy! With all your stupid comments you seem to be the inexperienced pansy.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:47 am | Reply
  17. SSG

    We have to take into consideration 12 to 15 month deployments followed by training events, schools, and sub-standard living conditions. Just to prepare for the next 12 to 15 month deployment. The tremendous strain that puts on any human regardless of branch affiliation is insane. In this environment only the mentally tough with the most supportive families will thrive. Granted, american Soldiers volunteer for service but have no idea what it is they are signing up for. They don't figure it out untill they see their first 1152 get ripped in half or watch their squad leader step on a land mine while reacting to contact. The bottom line is the military is not for everyone. Kids today join for college benefits or a large bonus. That's the wrong mindset. These are the situations that cause suicide. Not service affiliation. Solution? Tougher enlsitment standards, mental health screenings, drop the Army Strong campaign and start the Army Reality campaign. Then we will enlist Soldiers who are actually mentally and physically strong enough to survive combat.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
    • SGT

      ^^ For those reading SSG (An 1152 is a humvee). He is completely correct – the mentality of some enlistees is not what it should be. This is life and death.. not just a college paycheck. I actually joined partially for college..but I learned VERY quickly the true nature of this life and death job.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:56 am | Reply
      • Cavtanker28

        After 2 tours, one of which was 16 months long, I found that the greatest stress wasn't the combat; combat was actually a relief. It was the waiting for it – having to interact closely with the locals, wanting to help, and yet all the time knowing in the back of my mind I might have to kill them in an instant was the greatest source of stress.

        Part of the problem may be that the Army, especially as one of occupation in a counter-insurgency, is almost schizophrenic in its approach, both in training and operation. We label everything Warrior-this and Combat-that, and yet we're bombarded with the counter-insurgency mantra of "kindness to the locals".

        None of the above, though, explains why so many who haven't deployed have also committed suicide.

        August 17, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  18. Liz

    We want all the soldiers OUT of Afghanistan. They are over deployed. America wants to wind the war down, and Congress is not listening. We will vote out everyone who keeps the war going. Be brave and come back home. We want our soldiers to come HOME. Good luck and NO MORE SUICIDES.

    August 17, 2011 at 2:01 am | Reply
  19. josh

    Young men, go to college instead of invading another country. Do something good

    August 17, 2011 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • SSG

      If it wasn't for young men who have gone and will continue to go to war for their country. The general population 99% of U.S. citizens would likely not have the opportunity to attend College among many other privileges that civilians take for granted. So what exactly do you mean do something good? As far as invading other countries, have you opened a history book in this College of yours? How do you think this great nation was established? Young men, stand up for your country and defend the rights we have become accustomed to.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply
      • gator nuts

        I find it extremely difficult to compare the trivial cockfights of today with the wars of the past. For starters there is no clear objective or reason to be over there and thus I find it not surprising that soldiers develop depression. And it is just plain stupid to think that you need to kill others in order to get an education. (or anything else good and meaningful.) War does generate profits but these days it is only for like a handful of people. Don't know if you noticed but the cost of education is skyrocketing and there are like a ton of dead people in the middle east. I'd say your probably better off not going to college or going to war. Instead why don't these young men enjoy their lives. Its never a good thing to let some old miserable twit tell you what you should be doing.

        August 17, 2011 at 2:54 am |
      • Sevinthseal

        This "great nation" was established with slavery and genocide. If you don't know that then it is you who's never opened a history book. Stop whitewashing American history; it just makes you look like a tool.

        August 17, 2011 at 3:01 am |
      • Ben

        Seven, no more that your modern, anti-American revisionist history, that is so over simplified that it is not worth knowing. For example, the slavery issue, and who was actually capturing, selling and profiting from slaver in Africa or the Plains wars where most of the non Sioux tribes sided with the US against the more powerful Sioux who had abused them for centuries (just like in the NE or with the Spanish against th3e Aztecs...with 300,000 anti Aztec Indian allies). It is willful ignorance to just boil it down the way some do.

        August 17, 2011 at 9:42 am |
      • SGT

        listen here dumb fagat SSG im SGT and guess what buddy fagat yeah i should have went to college. guess when u get out, theres not shit. u got a DD214 and some shitty benefits that get you nowhere. fagat.

        February 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Vision40

      That post is filled with so much ignorance it smells like the inside of a Catholic Church in the South in the 1950's during race riots.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:30 am | Reply
      • ngganyot

        Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you culaalty know what you're talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

        April 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • hrt

      God said there must be war! Read the bible!

      August 17, 2011 at 7:50 am | Reply
    • josh

      You don't have to open a history book to find out how many other people were killed each year by Americans (plus ourselves). Listen to what other people say about Americans. When you carry a gun to another country, how could you convince people you are protecting your own country?

      August 18, 2011 at 12:37 am | Reply
  20. Patriarchy strikes again

    i had to call the red cross to get my brother off a ship. he was suicidal. he never should have been in the military. he went through a couple of years of therapy now and i think he will be ok now. he was definitely not prepared. patriarchy tells men horrendous lies (about being soldiers). its wrong and should be stopped...across all cultures.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
  21. ConnieM

    "No one knows why it’s worse among the Army other than the fact that it’s the biggest branch of service." That's a load of steaming crap that they don't know. It's called high stress and low reward. Army personnel are the most frontline other than the seals who are viewed as the elite and do more special ops. The army does the most grunt work and are more prone to developing PTSD. Being in the air, on a ship or doing special missions is more detached from the very real, daily human experiences that the army must face.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • Patriarchy strikes again

      patriarchy lies to men. oppressive. it says that men are over women and children and even other men if they are different than themselves. and that boys don't cry or have emotion, and that *good* men are soldiers. but, its trauma. men have to dissociate to even go to a lot of this stuff. they remember funerals with flag folding, 21 gun salutes and such and it looks like honor, but it's trauma. its wrong and it should be stopped. across all cultures.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:10 am | Reply
  22. Sam

    Do people here know what an American soldier suffers during deployment? And how underprepered they are?, I worked as sn interpreter for the American army in Iraq, and soldiers told me that they werent even told that it gets up to 130 degrees in the summer in Iraq, we went on missions knowing we are in a unarmoured vehicles, after the braveries those guys taught me, I'm joining the army once I get my green card, please have some respect for those that are fighting your fight, the fact that get to go the supermarket and choose from a thousand kind of products should make you think twice before calling anyone of them a pussy, to see your buddy's head blown to piece messes you up, even me and I was born raised worked and left Iraq during wars, it amazes me how some people call themselves Americans and talk shit about service members, you don't know what those guys saw and experienced, don't judge when you are sitting behind your computer enjoying the freedom and protection they are giving you.

    August 17, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • ConnieM

      Support that! Your servicemen deserve respect (I'm Canadian and have great respect for American and Canadian soldiers working abroad). Some people love to leave trashy comments, but have no clue as to what goes into protecting their right to speak freely.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
    • SGT

      I just wanted to say thank you and don't be so hard on those folks..they can't help their ignorance..lol

      August 17, 2011 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • hrt

      Amen!! you couldnt have said it better! Thank you!

      August 17, 2011 at 7:56 am | Reply
  23. Paul

    There is eternal hope and life by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! Call on Him today and He will answer! He is the Lamb of God, Son of the Most High God! Give your life to Jesus today!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • pcoladr

      If there was a 'god' paul.... better luck next time....

      August 17, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • David

      It boggles the mind to think that there are humans who are so helpless on their own that they need to cling to such crap!

      There is nothing more corrosive to genuine, intelligent thought and discussion than entrenching it in such superstitious, baby-brained nonsense.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
      • dano

        well put

        August 17, 2011 at 12:51 am |
      • gator nuts

        Why are atheists so hateful? Its amazing to me that New Atheist people claim to be open minded and intelligent yet they are so hysterical regarding Christianity. If its just a fairy tale then why the compelling need to put someone down?? Mommy read me fairy tales every night before bed and I turned out ok. I'm glad she read me fairy tales instead of aborting me:) She definitely had reason too.

        Liberal Atheists are the most hateful people on the planet.

        August 17, 2011 at 3:06 am |
      • Vision40

        The Bible is the most widely distributed piece of fear mongering literature ever produced. The Bible was written by men, not "God." The men who wrote the stories in the Bible did a great job of making sure their names lived on for many years after their death. Kudos to them.

        August 17, 2011 at 3:27 am |
  24. Name*Ruby caan

    Soldiers are subjected to social engineering along with multiple deployments without any emphasis that God is on our side-have you had your mandatory dadt briefing yet?

    August 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
    • David

      Probably because there is no god, that’s why.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Reply
      • Name*Ruby caan

        To you there is no God, how sad, but again that's what you believe.

        August 17, 2011 at 12:00 am |
      • Meghan

        I don’t believe in god and I think this is what, in part, makes me so much more happy and closer to humanity. I don’t need to look to some imaginary figure to experience life to the fullest, and you know what, I think it’s sad that so many people aren’t psychologically developed enough to be able to do that.

        August 17, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Majestic_Lizard

      So what you are saying is that if they were more religious they would not have killed themselves. What people here are saying is that if they had more support overseas they would not want to kill themselves. The second strategy requires effort, the first requires none. Which idea seems lazy to you?

      August 17, 2011 at 12:28 am | Reply
      • Majestic_Lizard

        I'm not calling the soldiers lazy. I'm calling the people who say they should be more religious lazy. Anyone can tell another person to pray more to make it rain or to pray more for their to be more gas in the tank. It takes a effort to actually solve problems.

        August 17, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  25. Jason

    This is sad news! I find it sad the so many people want to throw insults around at each other. I am in the military and yes suicide has crossed my mind. Why you might ask? I will tell you.... Have you ever taken a life? Had a hand in taking a life? For most people the answer is NO! For what ever reason some can not deal with taking life even in that person was an evil human! I don't know how many evil people lost their lives due to my helping hands. It's well into the hundreds. Call me what you will. I'm good with I've made peace with myself. I still go through times knowing what I help do! However I know it's for the greater good. Now the answers is...So i seek help.....YES i should. But why don't i? I don't want to identify myself. I don't want people to think I'm crazy! I want to do my job and go home like everyone else. If you can understand I'm sorry. But please don't throw insults around because this topic isn't funny it's real! Do I still want to do it? Sometimes but I power through for my kids. Everyone has a family please respect that!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • SGT

      Thank you for being brave enough to write that down on a public forum. Thank you for seeking help no matter how much you felt as if you were weak for doing so. I hope the soldiers underneath you realize your strength and abilities. Although I am getting out it makes me feel good to know there are still good ones in the army. Just not enough.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:37 am | Reply
  26. john

    Y dont they go into suicide missions like talibans,i mean they take their own life anyways ,might as well....

    August 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • SSG

      You are an idiot.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:19 am | Reply
    • syaurah

      If he signed up for the Survivor Benefit Plan while he was still alive and paid the pmireums out of his retired pay, his widow will receive up to 55% of his monthly retired pay for the remainder of her life if she doesn't remarry. She also gets to keep her ID card, with complete base privileges.The VA will pay for a grave marker. Social Security will pay out $250 towards final disposition of his mortal remains.Someone needs to contact the Army Finance Center at Indianapolis and let them know he has passed away, with provision of a copy of the death certificate as well. The address for that activity should be available on a copy of his Retiree Account Statement (DFAS-CL 7220/148).

      April 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  27. stephen miller

    As a member of the US Army Rserve my job is to provide behavioral health to other soldiers. The military has come a very long way in the past several years regarding the treatment and care of our fellow troops. We still have much to learn though. Our society in general has been experiencing a great upheaval in morals,values and perceptions of normal in the past 30-40 years. What was once swept under the carpet is now fully brought out in the open for all to see. With this greater openness comes more and different types of stressors. How we as human beings react to stress is a result of our upbringing and our experiences as human beings. Instead of running away from bears and lions we now have toxic leaders, financial problems and relationship problems to deal with. Some of us do better with the lions.Soldiers are taught to accept challeges and never accept defeat. Political leaders and the public are willing to "just get out" of Iraq/ Afghanistan. A Soldier cannot accept this. He watched his buddy die. He watched his marriage suffer.He missed his childs 5th birthday. And now he is told its "not worth it".A human being in order to survive a horrible situation needs meaning. Take that away and you hurt the man. plain and simple Some people cant take that kind of hurt so they end it. May God help all of us in our journey.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      So putting aside for a moment that basically you’re saying we shouldn’t put an end to war because 0.0001% of the people who were already involved are at risk of suicide based on, let me get this straight, that such an end might minimize the meaning they accord to it, let me first ask you this... what the hell is “providing behavioral health”???!!!! And, are you serious, a “great upheaval in morals and values over the past 30-40 years”??!! Clearly you have absolutely zero formal education in psychology or sociology, let alone the advanced training one would need to provide any kind of counseling. You’re totally full of it, aren’t you? You couldn’t even google basic definitions, you just made this up.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • lizzy

      this stupid war needs to end..2 and 3 tours of duty is too much!! so many lives lost and for what? our military is drained. how many more years will this go on?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Reply
  28. joe

    This is discouraging news, especially since im set to go to meps next week. I want to serve, i wont let news like this change my mind....especially since i cant find a job that will pay me enough to pay my 60000. School loan debt.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • SGT

      Just a piece of advice..if your goal is school money please stay out because the army is not what you think...i joined because i really wanted to serve my country however now you couldn't pay me enough money to stay in..i still love what the army is supposed to stand for but for what we sacrifice we are not taken care even remotely enough. I respect your decision to go in but be warned it is not all it's cracked up to be. The reward of serving your country is great but beyond that and a steady paycheck..not worth it anymore

      August 17, 2011 at 7:48 am | Reply
  29. bdills

    Many soldiers suffer as a result of surviors guilt which is basically they survive a traumatic experience and a battle buddy does not. Coming from a military family the army has slacked off in its training on training our soldiers learning of the dangers. Many bootcamps have eliminated pushups and other pt drills which help strengthn soldiers. What they need to do is redo the way they train soldiers. When your scared you revert to your training and experience. Im not saying that changing the way they are trained will reduce the suicide rate 100% but will drop the rate significally as everyones state of mind is different with training. Not sure if it makes sense im bad at explaining things

    August 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Marine5484

      So what you are basically saying is they need to adopt the Marine Corps standards in training and physical fitness.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Reply
      • GI21Bravo

        Marines serve 7 month tours. Soldiers serve 12 months, usually closer to 13-14.

        August 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
      • SSG

        Army PT is a joke, I agree. Unless you are personally motivated, 19D, or 11B where NCOs actually push their soldiers. But that has nothing to do with suicide. We have to take into consideration 12 to 15 month deployments followed by training events, schools, and sub-standard living conditions. Just to prepare for the next 12 to 15 month deployment. The tremendous strain that puts on any human regardless of branch affiliation is insane. In this environment only the mentally tough with the most supportive families will thrive. Granted, american Soldiers volunteer for service but have no idea what it is they are signing up for. They don't figure it out untill they see their first 1152 get ripped in half or watch their squad leader step on a land mine while reacting to contact. The bottom line is the military is not for everyone. Kids today join for college benefits or a large bonus. That's the wrong mindset. These are the situations that cause suicide. Not service affiliation.

        August 17, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  30. Sue

    Unfortunately, for some of these men and women, it's the return trip home that gets them. So many of them have fought hard overseas, and when they get back their commanding officers, staff sgts, etc., to their new duty stations are just plain jackasses and treat them like pond scum. I have personal knowledge of at least 6 such cases over the past 4 years, 5 of which were from the same location – Fort Stewart. A bunch of hard headed jerks run the guys ragged and treat them as if they are meaningless individuals, running them into the ground and making them do stupid stuff like babysitting a TREE...Yes, babysit a tree for 8 hours. They've spent 15 months fighting for their lives and our freedom, only to come home to some NOBODY who has never deployed, and be treated so poorly. Our military needs a major overhaul.....they need to return honor to those deserving.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Mil.wife

      I totally agree. Not just with the army but in other branches as well. They give power to alot of officers who in most cases have very little experience other than school and paperwork as well and they have major egos.
      I know of a guy (army) who was saved from his suicide attempt. Only to be told as soon as he gets out of the hospital he had to make up for all the PT he missed and they hoped he didn't think he was getting out of his deployment just because he tried to kill himself. He also became even more depressed when he found out that in the week he was recovery in the hospital his unit was punished for his "weakness". Now he had already deployed 2xs. If it wasn't for his mom calling his governor and writing letters. That man who treated him like scum who had never even been deployed would of got away with it.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:19 am | Reply
  31. Cnett

    There will obviously be more suicides now because Obama sent 30,000 more troops. Just by sheer numbers there will be more.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Yeah, this article is actually totally worthless because it doesn't say what the Army suicide rate is compared to comparable demographics from the general population.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  32. CJ Topsoib

    So...is this record number because of traumatic experiences overseas or because of the larger than usual number of people enlisted in the Army. To be a useful stat we need a baseline and a comparison to other large wars the US has been involved in....Vietnam, Korea, WWII, etc.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  33. Naomi

    Get rid of perverts and atheists from the military and prohibit foul language and tattoos and porns and gluttony. Give every American proper lessons on US history AND Christian education.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      Would you like to add gays to that list as well? Or simply have a tea party on the battle field! There is nothing wrong with an Atheist and were you a true christian you wouldn't be promoting this war against others. I ask it of you to open your mind and get out of the cycle of such primitive rantings for a religious, one way America.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Christians have to be among the most frightened, baby-brained d-bags on the planet...

      August 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • james

      None of that would change anything at all, you have no idea what you are talking about.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Ong

      boh,ma davanti ai paerri positivi di tutta la stampa videoludica e daventi all'ormai quasi certo successone (soprattutto in america dove il progetto pi conosciuto) ripeto si dovranno ricredere. prima o poi l'ho dovranno recensire,e se la rece sar molto lontana dalla media di siti tipo spaziogames ( a mio parere il migliore per le recensioni,soprattutto le videorensioni)faranno una bruttina figura

      June 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  34. James Patton

    Rarely in such succinct, quality fashion, has the rationale and justification for an immediate return to the wartime selective service draft been presented anywhere than this article in totality with the comments and posts responding to it.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  35. Naomi

    WHY DON'T THEY GET IT IT"S UNPARALLELED HONOR TO BE ENLISTED IN THE US MILITARY????????????????????? Is anyone teaching still Americans that USA saved the whole world mere 6 decades ago?

    August 16, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  36. Naomi

    For Heaven's sake, teach Americans how honorable USA is as a Christian nation and that serving USA equals serving the home planet. And that USA has been the most vital nation for all humanity and that it is the only good guy left among all nations. Get rid of the liberals from all public schools and make American kids read on the Puritans, the Founding Fathers and American missionaries!!

    August 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Funny little jesus fanatic... Now go sit in the corner and let the grown-ups discuss the important things you baby-brained little twit...

      August 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
      • Name*Ruby caan

        Yep, let all the atheist morons named after a Greek hero rule-these imbeciles always have the answers!

        August 16, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
      • Lt. D.

        It's funny... the fact that before "Atheism" was ever main stream, that it was CHRISTIAN MEN AND WOMEN that fought the wars that allow people like you to believe what you do. If I had it my way, Atheists, non-believers, and the rest of you parasites in this country would be done just like our soldiers and counterparts in every war we've ever fought and be lined up and executed into giant trenches.... But guess what? My Great Grandfather, My Grandfather, 4 Uncles and two brothers DIED IN WARS FOR THIS GOD FORSAKEN COUNTRY that allow people like you to believe what you do. I am open minded, but not to the point where I let my beliefs make me a total asshole.

        August 17, 2011 at 2:37 am |
      • Kayda

        Ugh, excuse me sir- I just wanted to throw a fun little fact out there... aetheists are serving in the military... and in Afghanistan. I'm active duty Marine Corps, currently deployed to Afghanistan...
        So, going out on a limb and saying it's always the Christian men and women fighting is a very incorrect statement. The military is like a big melting pot and I'm sure you already know... we have a little bit of everything. So please, respect the fact that non-Christians have taken the same oath.

        August 17, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Please

      Oddly enough, it's your right to religious freedom that servicemembers are out there defending. If you want to talk about history, let's talk about the fact that just a few centuries ago, people with your religious viewpoints were persecuted at 'progressives,' 'liberals,' and heretics because of ideas like wanting to read the Bible in English. It's amazing to me how one generation of the persecuted can spawn future generations of intolerant persecutors. The religious freedom the Puritans came here to pursue is not exclusive; it extends to all Americans, regardless of religious belief of non-belief. If you can't see that in our American history books, then you are the one who needs to pursue a course of study in American history and the US Constitution.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
      • Shael Christian

        Amen....

        August 22, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  37. light seeker

    If the human race could figure out how to get good things done for everyone, than we wouldn't have all of these terrible things happening. There would be no need for war. My answer is meditation. Those of you that practice it, know what I'm talking about. Ten million of us practicing meditation at the same time everyday for one month would make small changes.We would have to focus on the same good thought. It would work. Let's make a plan. Lets say tomorrow morning, 17th we all meditate about torrential rain in Dallas Texas. Let's start at 8am east coast American time for one hour. Let's call it a flash meditation. Let's give it three days to work. If it does, we'll try something else. Watch for my post.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • Ted

      Well you certainly don’t sound at risk of suicide but I suspect there is some other mental issue at play here🙂

      How about we all fart at 1:03pm EST on July 21, 2013 instead?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
      • Alwrda

        You can get dog tags made at any military suluprs store. They include name, SSN, branch of service, blood type, and religious preference.United States Armed Forces refers to the branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard.I will not post pictures of mine, due to the fact they have my name and SSN; a bit too personal.

        September 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  38. Vetchick1975

    Not one of us is qaulified to judge any of the soldiers that have taken their lives or attempted to take their lives. We have no idea of what is "too much" for them to deal with. Their inner pain and turmoil is truly subjective in nature. There are things that go on in the minds of our soldiers that cannot even comprehended. Everyone has their own level of inner turmoil that they can deal with.
    There is a very bad stigma attached to those who seek out mental health help. Contrary to common belief those records are NOT confidential. When a soldier goes to seek counseling those instances have to be reported in order to make sure that they are not a danger to themselves or others. So for that reason a lot of soldiers have no faith in tellling someone what their problems are. Better yet, if they do, then the doctor simply throws an anti depressant at them and sends them on their way.
    This is not how things are supposed to be done. Most of the time and in a lot of the places they don't have even have real mental health professionals, they have physician assistants attempting to the do the job.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      Some of the soldiers are fighting a two theater war: they face the stigma of needing help, then they are treated poorly by those who are supposed to help them. I have first hand experience with this unfortunately.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  39. Larry

    I came home 42 years ago. The people I served with didn't kill themselves. A bunch shot themselves in the foot, but not suicide. Don't understand it and it was a nastier war.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • Lt. D.

      In those years, men were men, tempered by faith and hard work. We're dealing with kids now. God help us all.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:40 am | Reply
      • SSG D

        Lt. D your an idiot I am not a christian or religous for that matter I have deployed 3 times been to both theaters and im not likely to kill my self, I am hardly a "kid" and I think it is highly likely you have never been to war. Dont speak unless you know what you're talking about.

        August 17, 2011 at 5:55 am |
      • hrt

        I agree with you 100% SSG D.

        August 17, 2011 at 7:41 am |
    • Please

      With due respect to your service, claiming WWII was a "nastier war" when you haven't been to Afghanistan or Iraq is a judgement you're not equipped to make. In WWII, you knew who and where the enemy was. You didn't have 10-year-olds blowing themselves up in front of you on a regular basis, and you were supported by a home population that understood what you were fighting for and a community that pulled together and supported your familiy while you were gone. You also didn't have to go out and keep fighting while Congress discussed not sending your family a paycheck next month AND you weren't there for ten years going on forever.

      In addition, people DID kill themselves in WWII, just like they always have. The difference is, no one talked about it and the Army sure as heck didn't send out monthly reports on it.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
  40. Vet

    To those of us that have lived war, there is nothing you need to say.

    For those that have not, you can never understand what it is like.

    And sometimes, the war stays with you.

    May those that could not live with what they brought back, know peace.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Reply
    • TJ

      Except that one presumes that things will not get worse once they are dead, and knows not the fine line between good times and bad.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        It doesn't sound like you understand why people commit suicide.

        August 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Alicia D

      Sorry for your pain, thank you for your service and I pray that you have peace for the rest of your days (the same to all vets)....

      August 16, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Reply
    • Glenda

      God bless and help you always. To all military also.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:39 am | Reply
      • Ryan

        The government is going to need one, not beucase of health care but beucase. Once the public get wind of Obama's loyalties and the kind of person he and hillary clinton are. The people of the U.S. are going to try to storm the white house. You'll see!

        April 6, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  41. susie

    Some people on here need to stop telling posters to "off themselves" and "take theMselves out of the gene pool". You never know what state of mind they may be in. They may actually do it and you would be the one that pushed them to it.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Susie, those people don't care if they die. Many people, especially in the military, believe those people are too weak and present a burden to the rest of the military.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  42. proud military wife

    Listen, there is help out there There is a program on most every Army post called Military Family Life Consultants I know, I am one. We provide confidential counseling to Vets, active or retired, their spouses, parents, kids, DOD employees, aafes employees and contractors. For those of you that are worried about it affecting your career, no worries, we do not report to anyone unless a person disclosed "duty to warn" information such as being homicidal or suicidal, domestic violence or abuse, child abuse or neglect. We provide one on one, couples therapy. We deal with issues such as anger management, deployment/reintergration issues, relationship issues, family dynamics, child behavior, depression, coping skills, communication, relocation..the list is long. We are not connected to behavioral health on post, we work out of any Army Community Services. There is help out there. We, the MFLCs are all licensed, master or PH.D level psychologist or social workers. I am certain the military is quite aware of the problems from back to back deployments. I have been doing this job for some time. This program has been in place since 2003/04, and unfortunately, not enough soldiers, marines sailors or airmen are aware of the program. We do not take notes or report to behavioral health, so for military personnel that worry about their careers, this is an alternative to behavioral health.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Really?! This is about service members who want to "kill themselves" aka suicide. The very act that you have to "duty to warn" officers about. There is NO ANONYMITY.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • proud military wife

        Mike, we do not "duty to warn" officers. We have an obligation, like any school teacher, doctor or private practice therapist is also obligated to report that someone is homicidal or suicidal. It is not just behavioral health.

        August 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Caleb Rasay

      It saddens me to hear about the suicide of our armed forces. I hope that there would be a study of how many veterans and active members are suffering psychological problems.
      i congratulate you for helping these soldiers deal with their psychological and emotional issues. I hope they have that kind of service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
      • proud military wife

        Caleb, Each of the different branches have MFLCs. The Community Service Office for AF, Army, Navy should have information about this program. Also another option is Military One Source. They have a toll free number, service members can call for counseling for them selves, spouses and children...at no charge. If I am not mistaken, a person is entitiled to 6 sessions per issue presented in therapy. Like I said, there is alot of help out there. If nothing else, there is help and safety in numbers at the VFW among vets. I hope that if you or anyone you know is in need of help or feeling hopeless, that you know...there is resources out there. Good Luck.

        August 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Allan

      NO ! you dont understand we cant even request to go to these services and when we do go to them you can never find someone with real experience it is just another way for army wives , retirees to earn our tax money. they are not qualified as they say they are. a little certificate from phenix online or any other online school that your 20 your old kid solved your online work for you is not qualification !!!!

      August 18, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
  43. camnc4me

    Aw, man. My sympathies go out to loved ones of these Servicemembers who took their own lives. There's not really a magic bullet that the military can use to decrease suicides. There are so many external factors that figure in to a person's decision to kill him or herself, especially considering the current deployment cycles not only to combat, but to overseas assignments that separate Servicemembers from their families. I would like to add the vast majority of Servicemembers are sympathetic to our brothers in arms who suffer from service-related trauma. All I can say if there's a member of the armed forces reading my comments, and you're considering suicide please know we value you and know you can call these numbers and get the immediate help you need:

    Stateside: 1-800-342-9647
    International: 800-3429-6477 or 484-530-5908.
    Collect from overseas: Dial an international operator first. Then ask to be connected with 484-530-5908
    Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): If you have a VoIP account set-up, you can use VoIP to call Military OneSource at 1-800-842-9647
    En español llame al: 1-877-888-0727
    TTY/TDD: 1-800-346-9188

    August 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  44. Mike

    "we are confident our efforts aimed at increasing individuals' resiliency, while reducing incidence of at-risk and high-risk behavior across the Force, are having a positive impact," Gen. Peter Chiarelli,
    This is why the Army is incompetent. Suicides keep getting worse and the Army has said it doesn't understand why and they still arrogantly maintain they are making progress. Don't trust what an Army Officer says, he can't say anything bad or he will be "retired" like Gen. Stanley McChrystal

    August 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  45. Pacifist

    I'd commit suicide if I found out I was nothing more than a guinea pig and hired killer working for peanuts for a pack of criminals and murderers.

    If you were defending the nation you'd be on the southern border FYI. So sorry.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Reply
    • Mikeb1

      Your kind statement clearly shows why you think you are morally superior.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Reply
    • still serving

      You called us servin a lot of rotten things glad i could fight so you can have the FREEDOM to be a loudmouth p@#$k toward us

      August 16, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • 50 cent army anyone?

      What a joke. These people saying heartless things are Chinese. Of course they don't care about our military. They are our enemy. Don't take their names, claims, or English to mean anything. That's all planned.

      Their goal is to try to say demoralizing things to the US because their stupid revolution killed all the smart people in China and they are desperately behind the civilized world.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • ProudtobeA

      Are you a complete moran? Our soldiers fight so that you can live on free soil; enter a supermarket without fearing a human bomb, and post nonsense as a comment.

      My heart goes out to the families left behind, fellow soldiers that are left to fight another day, and to all those who felt that it was just not worth living. Peace unto you.

      August 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Reply
    • William Nathan Hale

      I never was in actual combat so I will defer to a combatant's or ex-combatant's opinion. It seems that a soldier who remains an island unto himself with bottled up feelings is most vulnerable to suicide. Only the comradeship in unguarded interactions with war buddies will keep a man focused on doing his best to save others as they would also give up their own lives to protect him in the oppressive atmosphere of mortal combat. As we all know, once the war is over, individual peace of mind and serenity are yet to be won. One never quite gets over combat memories–such is the price of freedom for all of us. wnh

      August 16, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  46. Mad Hatter

    I hold a lot of respect and heartfelt thank you's for our military of all branches. I am a veteran. As for all the haters on this blog. STFU!!!!!!!!

    August 16, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      AMEN!

      August 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  47. HJC

    As you read a story about suicides and why they happen. Then read the posts where so many say, go kill yourself, go off yourself etc. And there is any wonder why people actually do it?

    August 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  48. 3434

    of course. their wives are messing around with other people while they are fighting for their country, not to mention their paychecks are being withdrawn by their "faithful" wives, leaving them broke once they return home.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • Sue

      You seem to be unaware that some of those are WOMEN.... Not everyone is a pig and feels the need to cheat while their "partner" is off serving their country. There are untold thousands who serve this country and have FAITHFUL family waiting for them, yet some still succumb to the hell of war and evil.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • gator24

      You are so right about the paycheck issue is that you think you have somebody who you think loves you and they really don't want nothing but your check... SMH

      August 17, 2011 at 1:36 am | Reply
  49. USAR

    *fellow Sgt's wife* type-o fail ftw. Hahaha

    August 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  50. USAR

    I tend to agree with patrick, seen a lot of wives taking off their rings when their husbands are deployed. As one that was "in the rear with the gear", I knew to look for that tan line. Can save your life. Cauz I can see why our combat servicemen come home to catch the wife in some shady sh@*. Could see em killing the wife, the other guy, and maybe themselves. Besides it's a respect thing. I wouldn't want someone to do that to me, so why would I do that to someone else. Altho I can say a fellow Sgt's hit on me as a single guy, I stayed away. Told him when he got back too. Was the right thing to do. I know dude appreciated it.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  51. Smarty Pants

    How many of these suicides we from diving on a grenade I wonder?

    August 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • james

      Jumping on a grenade in combat is not considered suicide.

      August 17, 2011 at 3:38 am | Reply
  52. Vetchick1975

    Mefloquin, an anti malaria drug given to our troops is a very real factor in the number of suicides. The army knows that this drug causes many different issues yet it still prescribes this medication to our soldiers. Furthermore, the mental and physical abuse that some suffer is more than they can handle. They joined the Army in order to fight for our country, defend it from enemies both near and abroad. They never signed on to fight the very people who are supposed to have their backs in times of war. If you have never been in the Army or deployed then you really have NO idea of what its like.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      I remember getting uncharacteristically aggressive when I took malaria pills in Iraq. Something to be said for sure. But the army is all about "one size fits most" and about the single soldier. The suicides are the single soldiers and most of the army is upset that they have to deal with them.

      August 16, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Reply
      • Vetchick1975

        The Army has changed its policy in regards to Mefloquine in 2009 due to the number of incidents involving soldiers who were on the medication. Although it has been known for years that this medication has some serious side effects to include TBI the army failed to properly prescribe the medication. In addition it is NOT supposed to be prescribed to anyone who is currently or recently on anti depressants.

        August 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  53. Crys

    Of the four branches, though theres five.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Kyle

      The Coast Guard is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  54. Gopherit

    If the U.S. would stop trying to conquer the world we could bring most of our forces home and shrink the number of people in the military. Then there should be fewer suicides – or maybe not since discharging people from the military could increase the civilian unemployment problem and increase suicides among those out of work. This report would be more relevant if is showed the percentage and number of suicides among those who are in or have been in combat and combat zones compared with those who have not been in those situations.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • Reality check

      I would argue that it is the combination of deployments and the current "force shaping" (ie, military personnel layoffs) creating the sort of stress that leads to these desperate actions. Imagine finding out you'll be unemployed in three months, but being unable to look for work because you're in a war zone.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        That "force shaping" is a cute word for inconsistent and sometimes immoral. If leaders consistently followed regulations and modernized them things would run smoother IMO.

        August 16, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
  55. SSG Doc

    I've been active duty for 10 years and have deployed 6 times. I have spent 6 1/2 years of my total military service in a combat zone. How the Pentagon and the media miss the correlation between deployments and suicide in the Army is beyond me. We have twice the bodies in the fight as all the other services combined and somehow twice the total number of suicides; weird.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • Reality check

      Shocker, right? Media outlets and Joe Q. Public never seem to do the math on the Army deployments – 8 out of 10 years away from a spouse, 3 of 5 years of your child's life away... and these aren't the exceptions so much as the rule these days.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Reply
    • ConnieM

      Well you rock and deserve my respect! The Pentagon and media are too busy with their heads in their own asses counting their dough and planning their next Galla to give a shit about those who actually fight to keep their elitist mouths well fed and safe. For the most part, they don't have a clue what PTSD feels like and if they once served and they're working in the Pentagon then I doubt it was in the army.. May God bless and keep you!

      August 17, 2011 at 1:21 am | Reply
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