Friday, December 28, 2012

Military Suicide - Sometimes War Isn't the Answer

Media stories and anti-war groups frequently say American soldier suicides outnumber combat-related deaths and the 2012 track doesn't show any improvement. Stars and Stripes says there were more suicides than combat deaths this year.
Through November this year, potentially 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers took their own lives. In Afghanistan 212 soldiers were killed as of Dec. 7.
With a month left in the year, the Army set a grim new record with 177 potential active-duty cases.
Last year, there were 165 confirmed suicides, which was also a record. Among Army Reserve and Guard soldiers potentially 126 took their own lives, up from 118 in all of 2011.
However, what is not often told is that the majority of military personnel committing suicide never served in a war zone deployment, or had been deployed, nor had they ever been in combat.
"About 53 percent of those who died by suicide in the military in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, had no history of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Defense Department. And nearly 85 percent of military members who took their lives had no direct combat history, meaning they may have been deployed but not seen action."
Such a sad reality. There are many reasons someone who has not deployed would get to that point of taking their own lives - depression, financial, sexual, broken relationships, harassment, substance abuse, and the list can include people who joined the military hoping order and discipline would give purpose to their existence and save their lives. It doesn't always work like in the movies. What we can know is that war is not always the answer. Sometimes, people just kill themselves.

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