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.
OUR GOVERNMENT, OUR VA AND OUR DOD SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.