Army: 24 Suspected Suicides in January ’09

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

This is just being reported,

Army reports alarming rise in suicides last month

There has been a small sprinkling of reports about the Military Suicides in the last couple of months, most of those found only if one is hitting a number of news outlets but not making National News, even as those who serve do so for the Country not a Community located near a base or where their from.

The Army is investigating a stunning number of suicides in January – a count that could surpass all combat deaths on America’s two warfronts last month.

According to figures obtained by The Associated Press, there were 24 suspected suicides in January, compared to only four in January of 2008, six in January of 2007 and 10 in January of 2006.

Questions, once again, and I say that as a ‘Nam Veteran, we who’ve watched this all before, have been rising as to why the numbers are going up and the causes. As it says above we have Two Theaters of occupations ongoing, with multiple tours by many in both theaters, add now the collapsing economy, the still lacking help for trauma brought back from service in these theaters and stress of being away from family and home on extended tours over and over, the strains on marriages and the family as a whole, misuse of addictive substances to deal, and other factors I’m sure.

“The trend and trajectory seen in January further heightens the seriousness and urgency that all of us must have in preventing suicides,” Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, said of the new monthly number Thursday.

The 24 suspected January suicides include seven confirmed and 17 still being investigated. Usually the vast majority of suspected suicides are eventually confirmed, and if that holds true it would mean that self-inflicted deaths surpassed the 16 combat deaths reported in all branches of the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations considered part of the global war on terror last month.

Most of the reports one might catch rarely give a reason or cause, just that a soldier, or veteran, especially a young recent vet, has been found dead, rarely giving a followup or unless local to the original the followup is not seen.

The Military is Broken, that’s not to say those serving are not doing so Honorably, but once again, because of Wars and Occupations of Choice, the systems surrounding those serving are stretched past the breaking point and only little relief is forth coming quickly!

These problems were forecast by many of us that they would occur, no one listened, no one took the lead in even bringing them up as the beating of the war drums grew and grew and we’re now six and seven years still occupying

Army suicide prevention

Bring Them Home, And Take Care Of Them When They Return, Full Care!!


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    • jimstaro on February 5, 2009 at 21:52

    Shinseki pledges top-down review, change

    "I intend to … demand the highest levels of integrity, transparency and performance in leading the department through the fundamental and comprehensive change it must quickly undergo," Shinseki said. "There’s a long tradition of VA providing leadership in medicine, of setting standards in many fields. Where we lead, we must continue. Where we do not, we must regain that leadership."

    Paperwork among VA chief’s priorities

    The newly appointed head of the Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday the department needs a fundamental change in how it handles its paperwork.

    Eric Shinseki described a Sisyphean task for caseworkers trying to plow through the backlog of files to make decisions on veterans’ claims.

    Members of the committee peppered Shinseki with questions about the VA’s handling of mental health issues. The secretary said that much progress has been made in understanding traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) since he served in Vietnam, but there is plenty more to do.

    “I am now watching all of our efforts to understand PTSD, TBI, substance abuse amongst our veterans and have a better appreciation of what we put my comrades through when we came back" from Vietnam, he said. "None of these programs were available, in fact. None of these terms were in vogue then. We still don’t understand enough. We are still learning.”

    The chairman of the committee, Rep. Bob Filner, D-California, expressed frustration that screenings for the disorders were done through a self-evaluation, rather than through medical examination, and he implored Shinseki to change that.

    • jimstaro on February 5, 2009 at 22:04

    Military Suicides at a 30-Year High

    Suicide Rate Reflects Toll of Army Life

    With Suicides at a 30-Year High, Army Vows to Address Problem

    In 2008 alone, the Army reports there were at least 128 confirmed cases of suicide, more than a dozen of which are still under review.

    U.S. Army Suicides Highest In 3 Decades


    And this is just reports on the Army, nothing yet on any possible Marine numbers.

  1. Unless one has been “there”–to the point of despair–it’s hard to understand completely what drives one to the point of suicide.  Yet, the fact that it is happening in such appalling numbers in the military is something that we should all be trying to understand and to demand changes to take the pressure off of those of whom far too much has been asked over the last several years.

  2. but those who serve have been taxed to an extreme.

    I (combat veteran, decorated, including the Purple Heart) counsel these young soldiers, sailors, and marines.

    It’s the job, not the military. And trust me, I want ALL to come home and be hale and hearty.  

  3. From CNN:

    If those prove true, more soldiers will have killed themselves than died in combat last month. According to Pentagon statistics, there were 16 U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq in January.

    This is terrifying,” an Army official said. “We do not know what is going on.”

    I’ll give that official one guess.

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