17 Veterans committed suicide A DAY in 2005

cross posted from sanchopress.com


CBS News’ investigative unit wanted the numbers, so it submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense asking for the numbers of suicides among all service members for the past 12 years.

Four months later, they sent CBS News a document, showing that between 1995 and 2007, there were almost 2,200 suicides. That’s 188 last year alone. But these numbers included only “active duty” soldiers.

CBS News went to the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Dr. Ira Katz is head of mental health.

“There is no epidemic in suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem,” he said.

Why hasn’t the VA done a national study seeking national data on how many veterans have committed suicide in this country?

“That research is ongoing,” he said.

So CBS News did an investigation – asking all 50 states for their suicide data, based on death records, for veterans and non-veterans, dating back to 1995. Forty-five states sent what turned out to be a mountain of information.

And what it revealed was stunning.

In 2005, for example, in just those 45 states, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those who served in the armed forces. That’s 120 each and every week, in just one year.



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  1. thanks for the email the other day, I hope you got my response.  You guys are doing a great job.  Keep up the good work.  I’ll do some promotion for the site when time allows.


  2. Here’s the diary I did when it happened at DKos.  I later found out that he had shot himself in front of the VA hospital in Colorado Springs.  Left his wallet and wedding ring at home, placed his vehicle registration on the dash of his work truck so he could be easily identified, then shot himself in the heart with an enlarged photo of himself surrounded by a village of Vietnamese children in the passenger seat.  After that and with my husand not coming home from his first Iraq tour Okay, was there ever any question that I wasn’t going to drive all night until I dropped to get to Crawford TX when they threatened to arrest Camp Casey?  I will miss him forever.  His two children will have to raise their families and mature their hearts without him though, they lose the most!  And his grandchildren will not know him now, the three of them were too small.


    Thank you for this diary and for a new chance to honor and remember him and hold him to my heart for only a moment.  He gave me away at my wedding.  He was one of my best friends and I had no idea his PTSD had flared up and was going to take his life like it did.  The Vietnam vets are good at hiding that from those who love them.  That photo they found with him always hung in his bedroom to remind him that though Vietnam was horrible and terrible things happened he was not a terrible man and he was loved by those who lived there and knew him.

    • Edger on February 1, 2008 at 18:15

    Good to see you guys getting along again. 🙂

    • Edger on February 1, 2008 at 18:30

    What’s the login/password for the sitemeter account you set up for Tom?

    Might be a good idea to email it to him instead of posting here 🙂

  3. but a good compilation

  4. The government knows there is a crisis in the military.  Many of them have acknowledged this (except for the bushies)–yet it continues.

    It might be worthwhile to contact members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and ask them what actions they’ve taken following their hearing on December 12, 2007 on Stopping Suicides and Ending Homelessness.  Many experts, including   Ilona Meager spoke at the hearing and submitted data regarding these PTSD related issues, to be entered into the Congressional Record.

    As the House Veterans Affairs Committee are now obviously informed of this ongoing crisis, IMHO, it might help to keep the Committee members focused on this issue, by contacting them and holding their feet to the fire on what actions they’ve taken and/or will take to make needed changes ASAP.  

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