Alarming Rise in Military Suicides

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John Donnelly of Congressional Quarterly has a disconcerting piece out today noting that more US military personnel are dying from suicide than from either of the US military engagements in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Donnelly writes:

More U.S. military personnel have taken their own lives so far in 2009 than have been killed in either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars this year, according to a Congressional Quarterly compilation of the latest statistics from the armed services.
As of Tuesday, at least 334 members of the military services have committed suicide in 2009, compared with 297 killed in Afghanistan and 144 who died in Iraq, the figures show.
Lawmakers in recent years have been increasingly concerned about the growing problem of military suicides, especially in the Army. They have been holding hearings, passing bills and approving billions of dollars more than requested to improve mental health care for military personnel and veterans.
But even those who have been most intensely focused on the issue said they found the new numbers alarming. So far in 2009, the Army has had 211 of the 334 suicides, while the Navy had 47, the Air Force had 34 and the Marine Corps (active duty only) had 42.

Maybe wars that never seem to really end has something to do with it.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

4 comments on “Alarming Rise in Military Suicides

  1. Zoe says:

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  2. Mr.Murder says:

    War does this to people. The enemy is actually the human condition, after war dehumanizes you.

    Reply

  3. John Waring says:

    DonS,
    These constant deployments are grinding our military people to pieces.
    It breaks my heart.
    We should share some of the sacrifice made by our military families by at least paying for the war in higher taxes.
    The ones yelling loudest for our two wars to continue are the same ones loudly refusing to pay for them.

    Reply

  4. DonS says:

    There really is no way to adjust or fit people to withstand the kinds of stress that is involved. The enlisted military is just another casualty of an irrational foreign policy that panders to simplistic notions of an “enemy” that, truth be told, is much internally generated by all those who profit from the FEAR industry and those who go along with it for a variety of self-serving reasons.
    “Fixing” the problem by instituting a draft doesn’t make sense for a variety of political reasons, as well as for the tactical reason that the sort of missions (such as they are ill conceived) that are involved do not lend themselves to 2 year recruits who are destined to be mindless cannon fodder.
    My bottom line is that there are fewer and fewer reasons for any sane person to acquiesce in any any part to the disastrous military course the US is embarked on; failing to call out Obama’s policy’s as anything but immoral in design, if not intent, is enabling the disaster.

    Reply

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