I must admit, I was even Shocked to read this! I would not have thought of it.
WASHINGTON -- The number of U.S. Army soldiers who took their own lives increased last year to the highest total since 1993, despite a growing effort by the Army to detect and prevent suicides. In 2005, a total of 83 soldiers committed suicide, compared with 67 in 2004, and 60 in 2003 - the year U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq. Four other deaths in 2005 are being investigated as possible suicides but have not yet been confirmed. The totals include active duty Army soldiers and deployed National Guard and Reserve troops. "Although we are not alarmed by the slight increase, we do take suicide prevention very seriously," said Army spokesman Col. Joseph Curtin.
Notice Col. Curtain remarks, He is not alarmed over this increase. I ask you Why should any Soldier have to take his own life?
Of the confirmed suicides last year, 25 were soldiers deployed to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars - which amounts to 40 percent of the 64 suicides by Army soldiers in Iraq since the conflict began in March 2003. The suicide rate for the Army has fluctuated over the past 25 years, from a high of 15.8 per 100,000 in 1985 to a low of 9.1 per 100,000 in 2001. Last year it was nearly 13 per 100,000. The Army recorded 90 suicides in 1993, with a suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000. The Army rate is higher than the civilian suicide rate for 2003, which was 10.8 per 100,000, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the Army number tracked closely with the rate for civilians aged 18-34, which was 12.19 per 100,000 in 2003.
Now the Armys wisdom for all of this is to set up CISD teams and hand out pamplets on the subject of sucide. Not really too awfull bright if you ask me. It has already been reported 1/3 of all returning vets have severe PTSD! What do Veterans organizations say?
"These numbers should be a wake-up call on the mental health impact of this war," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "One in three soldiers will come back with post traumatic stress disorder or comparable mental health issues, or depression and severe anxiety." Rieckhoff, who was a platoon leader in Iraq, said solders there face increased stress because they are often deployed to the warfront several times, they are fighting urban combat and their enemy blends in with the population, making it more difficult to tell friend from foe. "You don't get much time to rest and with the increased insurgency, your chances of getting killed or wounded are growing," he said. "The Army is trying harder, but they've got an incredibly long way to go." He added that while there are more psychiatrists, the soldiers are still in a war zone, "so you're just putting your finger in the dam.",/blockquote> This also makes me have to wonder, Just where in the heck have our elected officials been doing about this. I cant seem to remember hearing one of them address the issue!