Skip to comments.Hidden toll of US wars: 18 veterans commit suicide daily
Posted on 04/28/2010 4:05:35 AM PDT by ResistorSister
An average of 18 US military veterans are taking their lives every day as the Obama administration and the Pentagon grow increasingly defensive about the epidemic of suicides driven by Washingtons wars of aggression.
The stunning figure was reported last week by the Army Times, citing officials in the US Veterans Affairs Department.
The department estimates that there are 950 suicide attempts every month by veterans who are receiving treatment from the department. Of these, 7 percent succeed in taking their own lives, while 11 percent try to kill themselves again within nine months.
The greatest growth in suicides has taken place among veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who accounted for 1,868 suicide attempts in fiscal 2009, which ended on September 30. Of these, nearly 100 succeeded in killing themselves.
The connection between the surge in military suicides and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is undeniable. The suicide rate within the military doubled between 2001 and 2006, even as it remained flat among the comparable (adjusted for age and gender) civilian population. And the numbers continue to rise steadily. In 2009, 160 active-duty military personnel killed themselves, compared to 140 in 2008 and 77 in 2003.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsws.org ...
This article is based on a story in the Army Times. I tried to post the story from the Army Times, but there is a copyright issue and stories from that source cannot be posted on FR.
My father, a wounded WWII vet, drank himself to death over many years. Times haven’t changed, perhaps the instrument of death has...
I am sorry for any veteran in trouble but does anyone know how this number compares to the population as a whole adjusting for the specifics of age and gender? That’s the necessary element of this story.
Well, OK, how many other people commit suicide each day. What’s the point in counting veterans?
No stats comparing non military, same age, education groups against civilians.
Further, social numbers like these types are very poor quality.
Badly written and not illuminating article.
18 veterans committing suicide daily is not something that you hear about in the MSM. I thought the article was illuminating and I will research the information further.
Find the answer, let us know.
I call BS on this! Something doesn’t seem right at all about this story. It implies because of these wars people are committing the act of suicide and that’s crap!
The majority of readers on FR are adults, they can handle sources outside of the MSM.
Don't claim something is BS, just because it "doesn't seem right" to you.
Do some research, write to the Army Times and ask them about the veterans who decided that suicide was their only way out.
Got to leave for work...will write later
They didn’t commit suicide. The horrors of war killed them. It gets in your mind and doesn’t leave.
What is the civilian rate? Same age, income, education?
By and large, everything I have read is that all things equal, the mil rate is lower than the civ rate.
Kind of suspicious that the Socialists would leave out comparative stats, eh?
Then you ask everyone you know who has been to the Middle East since 2001 how many fellow vets have attempted suicide. When you discover the likely answer of zero, then you start questioning more.
If someone locates a vet somewhere in the hinterland who has attempted or succeeded at suicide, you ask what else may have led to it.
My gut tells me this is a report written by someone with way, way, way too little real work to do.
And even if the numbers can be explained and are true, what’s the big deal here? War is all hell... where are the suicide rates from Vietnam? From Korea? From WWII? Point one: When we have wars we usually have MORE vets. Point two: When you see things like children being used as bombs, it just might cause a few problems with healthy people. The fact that World Socialist Web site would try and use such sad news for their own propaganda says more about their twisted motives than anything the US is or is not doing.
You fool. If you use the new Obamath, it adds up perfectly. Obamath is the new math being taught by the teachers’ union to our children. It helps make the new budget add up and it makes great cents.
the Army must be doing something right, because the rate of suicide is actually loweryes, I said lowerthan that of a comparable civilian population.Yes, you heard me right, I said the suicide rate is lower in the Army than in a similar civilian population.
I know the headlines suggest otherwise, but that is because they are comparing the suicide rate in the US Army (17 per 100 000 population), as compared to the suicide rate of all civilians of all age groups (rate 11.5 per 100 000 population).
The dirty little secret is that men succeed in suicide a lot more than women, so by comparing apples (young men) to organges (adding women to the statistics) you can make the Army look bad.
Here is a pdf file of 2005 suicide statistics.
Here are a few details that are mentioned by the reports, but in a way that you might overlook them, especially if you are like most people and only read the top of the story.
One, the suicide rate in the Army is 17, but in young civilian men is 20.5.
Two:Read paragraph 2 of the Washington Post story I quoted. The article admits that two thirds of the suicides have not served in Iraq or Afghanistan, meaning that these suicides were not related to the war.
LOL...nice shot there. So by pointing out that you're linking to a communist website I am a child. There used to be standards here.
Then you say, "Keep thinking. That's what you're good at."
My guess is there is no such real report because no one in any real veterans support organization would release something this silly.
How would a work a day scribe at the Army Times know about some person they never met who committed suicide? Dig them up? E-mail to the after life? What special insight would that paper have?
18 daily is 6570 per year.
Veterans are not in a duty status. The Army counts warriors still on the duty rolls. 98 uniformed Army troopers killed themselves.
Vets are a lost demograph-few are tracked by the VA or other agencies.
This story is fishy in many ways, not just the lack of an appropriate comparison group.
According to the article, 7% of 950 attempters succeed each month (a far far lower rate of success than is found among males). That makes 2.3 suicides per day. Where does the number “18” come from?
Those number don’t add up. None of the numbers in the article matches up. It’s terrible reporting.
If you take 7.82 and multiply by 2.3, you get 18. That’s where they got 18. They pulled it out of their posterior.
Among all of the reasons that other Freepers have pointed out to show that this study is meaningless, there is the added aspect of the suicide rate of war veterans vs. peacetime military personnel, because, guess what, military personnel who never go to war also kill themselves on occasion, as do civilians. So, even if we were to accept that there was a particular rate of suicide among veterans, it would not necessarily have a bearing on the wars, or conduct of wars. For example, the military has always had a relatively high rate of suicide attempts during holidays even in peacetime - young kids in a somewhat stressful job away from home, often for the first time.
I first encountered this phenomena in 1981. It was on a mimeographed piece of paper taped to the back of a lounge chair in my dorm’s break room. Only then the subject was Vietnam vets and the cause was Selective Service enrollment.
Whatever the math, even one of these heroes is one too many...
Their math is awful.
950 attempts per month
7% actually kill them selves
This means 66.5 suicides per month, or 2 per day.
I am really not sure how they got 18 per day.
My comment was not a personal attack on you; there are some kids who read FR, but the majority of readers are adults.
Second major mistake just as wrong. RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. They are there to fight and win a war. No second guessing.
Third is the idiotic idea that troops are also Peace Corp Workers. Any Commanding Officer ordering or allowing his troops to rebuild, paint, or help a country in a war zone should face immediate Court Martial and removal from service. Any Civilian official elected or appointing ordering such should be fired, impeached, and/or removed by appropriate means.
A United States Serviceman to do the job in war must maintain a healthy dosage of detachment from their task in the same Paramedics, Firemen, and policemen, must do so they can do their job. Having to shell or raid a home one night due to it being a suspected or confirmed next for snipers then having them help rebuild the next day is wrong.
Vets in every war this nation has been in have had to do things we do not see here in the United States. A soldiers raid on a suspected hideout and killing all inside is as right as a carpet bombing of an entire area. Each is done so to achieve a military objective.
When all vets up through WW2 came home they were welcomed hero's. As Marxism became more prevalent after WW2 the returning Vets found themselves being attacked and scorned for doing a job which the description and requirements are written in The Holy Bible.
Much of the cause and affect of returning servicemen come from nothing more than very bad policy on the part of our Presidents and Congress in both parties.
I hear the term or popular catch phrase SUPPORT THE TROOPS. That includes most of all not second guessing them, Not Judging Them, Not Over extending them, and not Over Deploying them into levels of combat way beyond that of even WW2. It also means giving them all the necessary manpower and equipment needed so we are seen as a military power not to be messed with. meaning Reagan Doctrine is needed for our National Defense.
Our returning troops need at least the rest of their enlistment for their minds to heal from one such deployment. This has not been done since Post Vietnam and it is creating major issues. A serviceman should not feel guilty for leaving the service or going home after being wounded as if he let his fellow troops down, Congress needs to get off it's A Double S's and do it's job getting our troops proper rotations.
There are 100's of stories about this 'study;' starting back in 2008 when ... 18 veterans/day were commiting suicide. See the link below:
Back in 2008 a story reports that the VA Hid Suicide Risk and there are about 18 suicides per day
18 veterans commit suicide/day in 2008 and still ... 18 veterans commit suicide/day in 2010 - something strange about the number of suicides/day never changing.
I love it when I read something that has been written from the heart, and is full of compassion and understanding.
I've lived through PTSD before but mine was not war related. It came several years after my peace time service. It took almost 5 years to get rid of it. Still you can't keep flipping that switch and not expect something to break. It's dealing with the strongest portion of the brain geared for survival and deals with controlling some very strong impulses and brain chemistry.
If you don't respond in the way that part of the brain thinks is appropriate another complication enters the equation called Panic Attacks and more stress. The combined problems in combat vets used to be called Shell Shock added with that complications from such things as sensory damage which also complicates the entire issue and adds to the stress as well.
A one year Tour in combat is enough per enlistment. Fifteen months should be a set maximum goal. Bringing troops home from Iraq and in about a year sending them to Afghanistan for another year just isn't right.
18 veterans commit suicide/day in 2008 and still ... 18 veterans commit suicide/day in 2010 - something strange about the number of suicides/day never changing.
Ok, so you did my research, I still conclude because there is precisely "something strange about 18 suicides per day," this article is FOS! However, when I first read the story I thought they were only referring to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. But the term "VETERAN" throws this into a whole different realm. There is also disparaging data between actual suicides and "suicide attempts." Look at your google links and see the trash liberal Anti-American sites that are spewing this study.
Then we get CBS claiming there's "25 million veterans" @ 6759 suicide attempts per year that's less then 2/10ths of 1%. 18 per day compared to the overall average number of citizens in the country who attempt suicide is actually consistent with suicide attempt rate in the whole US among all citizens. And finally this:
In an e-mail late Monday to CBS News, Katz wrote that the reason the numbers were not released was due to questions about the consistency and reliability of the findings - and that there was no public cover up involved.
When I read your first post, I had a feeling that you were a healer...after reading your second post I realize that you are. God bless you.
My wife also has PTSD and she has depression to go with it. She's a quadriplegic now of 26 years so she's reminded every day no matter what. PTSD works on you when you're tired and usually at night. It's kinda like someone putting in a bad movie you keep watching or a repeated re-think or remembering a traumatic event or traumatic events. With it comes depression also.
1 Corinthians 12:7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit...
I know many people who have been to the Middle East since the war began. I've now asked two or three how many people they know who were there that attempted suicide. Generally, I draw a blank stare.
If the VA can produce people who have, I will want to know what went on at home to cause it.
This kind of nonsense becomes a self perpetuating life form, grist for stage and screen. We went through this once before in my youth. Those reports turned out to be largely nonsense, and the average lad and lass in today's military is tiers above the average ones from those days in training and professionalism.
Call me a doubting Thomas in this case. I'll remain so until I see it in person and in real life.
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2010 With more than 6,000 veterans committing suicide every year - and 98 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan taking their own lives during fiscal 2009 alone -- the Department of Veterans Affairs is redoubling its outreach to veterans and promoting its toll-free suicide-prevention hotline.
National statistics show that veterans constitute about 20 percent of the 30,000 to 32,000 U.S. deaths each year from suicide. Of an average of 18 veterans who commit suicide each day, about five receive care through the VA health-care system. More than 60 percent of those five had diagnosed mental-health conditions.
Read the rest of the story at the link below:
Bottomline: Skepticism will keep you safe, but it could also keep you from reaching out to 'touch the wound' of America's veterans; skepticism could be a defense to keep you sheltered from the dark side of life.
OK. that is my point. They are trying to use this study to make some big deal connection with wars and suicide rates which is most certainly NOT there. This is what I wanted to point out.
This is like a famous to many never been in the service Freeper who says there was no Gulf War Syndrome because Colin Powell said so. All because the party leadership says there wasn't.
There are troops deployed today who have almost seen more war time duty than the total time of WW2. Some are still on first enlistment. To think that we as a nation can keep this up without serious mental health issues be it combat fatigue to PTSD hitting over deployed troops is insanity. The troops deployed in WW2 didn't have politically correct fools in command of them saying kill, hug, kill, hug, to them. Meaning what? Meaning having to kill at night and help rebuild or police the enemy nation the next day. We didn't see Court Martials of America's Finest in the name of political correctness either.
The politically correct motivated policies of war today is bound to have serious repercussions on the troops. Most people don't even beat their dog for barking the sic them on something and beat them again for barking. You don't tell a child to take out the trash them smack them for doing so either. That would give you what? If you understand that much you understand my point.
This is not wars previous. This is politicians trying to cover their stinking liberal antiwar conscience by punishing troops and their misuse of them thereof with insane policies which lead to issues for the vet. King David in the Old Testament was brought to task for this. His troops to save his life and his kingdom had to kill the enemy. The enemy was his son. King David instead of honoring his troops for doing their job tried to place guilt.
Our troops deserve and need reasonable and realistic deployment policies they can count on including realistic enlistment obligations. Eight years is not realistic. Six year active obligation? Sometimes in special cases where extensive training investment is made like a year plus of special schooling etc. Four years active duty is plenty of service to this nation and we need to return to it.
Eight year obligations on a first time enlistment is not realistic. It is taking advantage of young people who do not understand the demands of military life. For second time and beyond enlistments? Yea eight years is OK. By then it is a career choice eyes fully open. By then they know what they want.
Troops need a set Military Mission based Rules Of Engagement and not PC policies of being Warrior/Peace Corp/Policeman. The three missions can not coexist together in war. Any person can be one of the three but not even two of the three in war. No serious well thought out deployment policies and ROE's have been in place since 1989.
The numbers of suicides and attempts right now in returning combat vets are down mostly because of SCREENING which is good. To say that over deployment is not taking a serious mental health toll on our troops and our military readiness is ridiculous.
BTTT Bump. Save that post and expand it. It’s worthy of being a longer essay.
I'd rather see 3 million on active duty ready to fight and not have too than 1.5 million taking the entire load years on end. Of that 1.5 million a low percentage will actually see the actual combat but will be the same ones called upon again and again under todays policies.