The US military is suffering through an epidemic that seems to be getting worse despite efforts to change its course.
US military suicides are happening at almost two a day. The problem often so overwhelming that US officials won’t often discuss it even with Washington insiders.
And a new Army report released late last week indicated that the pace of self-inflicted deaths among US troops and service members is on pace with the record rate that the military saw in 2012. Experts say the prospect of serving through a seemingly never-ending war can be too much for individuals to deal with.
Between March and May, the U.S. military recorded 161 potential suicides in 2013 among active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members that’s one suicide about every 18 hours.
Because of the number of US military suicides, the government has come up with a number of programs and initiatives designed to decrease those numbers. But experts and advocates think that those numbers will go up once again with the troop drawdown in Afghanistan.
Last year, the number of self-inflicted military deaths was more than the number of troops killed in battle according to figures gathered from each branch.
Military doctors are now studying if Traumatic Brain Injuries or T-B-Is are fueling the number of self-inflicted deaths. In March, more than 50 members of Congress formally asked US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to investigate whether TBIs sustained in American troops may be contributing to the military’s suicide crisis.
- More Than 2,700 American Soldiers Have Killed Themselves Since 2001 (slog.thestranger.com)
- A rising tide of suicides, and access to guns (thesunnews.typepad.com)
- Hagel Stresses Accountability To Army’s Newest Officers (albanytribune.com)