Suicide Risk For Troops After Leaving Military Service Far Greater Than Death From Combat Action

6,500 US Military Veterans Die From Suicide Every Year

by Jamie Lewis
International Business Times, April 16, 2012

U.S. soldiers fight Taliban forces in Barawala Kalay Valley, Afghanistan, March 31, 2011. A recent report by the Center For a New American Security said troops are much more at risk for death by suicide when they return home than they are from actual combat duty. (DoD, Cameron Boyd)

Startling figures, which show the real death toll of the US’s military campaigns, have revealed that servicemen and women are far more likely to commit suicide once they have left the forces than are killed in battle.

The report concludes that while only 1 percent of Americans serve in the military, the suicide rate of veterans accounts for a fifth of the overall total in the US.

It adds that soldiers in service take their own lives once every 36 hours as well as to the 18 veterans who commit suicide every day.

In comparison to the 1.72 deaths per day as a result of the Americans fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, it would appear servicemen are far more likely to die by their own hands after their tour of duty.

Marine Corps Sergeant Maj. Bryan Battaglia, a Defense Department adviser, said of the report (issued by the Center For a New American Security):

“Whether it be [a suicide] every 80 minutes or one every 80 weeks, one is obviously one too many.

“I’m committed to exhausting all efforts in order to reduce suicide across the entire force.”

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