concerned veterans for america

Army Suicides

It appears that there will be far more suicides in the Army this year than last year. So far this year there have been 88 reported suicides among active-duty troops, of which 54 are confirmed. The other 34 are still being investigated. If this number holds, the Army will have surpassed the number of active-duty suicides for the same period last year by more than 20. For the first 6 mos of 2008 there were 67 confirmed suicides in the active-duty /Among reserve soldiers the trend also may be upwards. This year there have been 16 confirmed suicides in that component, and 23 other deaths still under investigation. Between Jan and June 2008 there were 29 confirmed suicides among Reserve troops not on active /Testifying in March before the Senate Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli attributed the spiking suicide rate to continued long deployments. We’re talking repeated long deployments and lots of stress. Folks, the Army is too small–by half. We can’t keep sending these soldiers back into action without adequate time to recover. We need a bigger Army now. I think it’s time for the draft. But I’ve said that before.

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Denny Gillem
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