All of the widespread use of improvised explosive devises, multiple deployments, and the ambiguity of fighting combatants dressed as civilians is causing:
The rate of suicides among-active duty soldiers is on pace to surpass both last year’s numbers and the rate of suicide in the general U.S. population for the first time since the Vietnam war, according to U.S. Army officials.
As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.
Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.
Another factor in the rise can be attributed to the increased pace of combat operations and financial and family troubles connected with deployments.
“Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families,” Secretary of the Army Pete Geren said. “This stress on the force is validated by recent studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.”
The statistics were released Tuesday at a news conference announcing the completion of a study by mental health experts who the Veterans Administration asked to review its suicide prevention work and track numbers.
On Tuesday, the VA also announced findings from a study showing that suicides hit an all-time high in 2006 among younger U.S. military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The numbers show record levels for men, but the statistics are lower for women.
A study published last year shows that US military veterans make up one in four homeless people in America, even though they represent just 11 per cent of the general adult population, we are already seeing younger soldiers trickling into shelters and soup kitchens after completing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Data from 2005 estimated that 194,254 homeless people on any given night were veterans. These are more alarming statistic that proves that our government is not taking care of these men and women once they come home.
Bush and Cheney have called all of us un-Patriotic for not supporting our troops. Why, because we want all the troops to come home; but they have shown no initiative or call for legislation to help our veterans and soldiers who have witnessed horrors beyond imagination. These brave men and women deserve better than our VA and government is treating them; in the eyes of Bush they are just another casualty of war in his never ending greed for power and oil. We are the ones that are considered un-Patriotic, my answer to that is, look in the mirror, you have the blood of thousands of soldiers on your hands from an illegal occupation and war. That stain can never be washed away…