Army Faces Highest Monthly Total of Suicides
By Patricia Kime – Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Aug 16, 2012 13:20:17 EDT
The Army experienced a record 38 suicides in July, the highest monthly total since the service began releasing monthly figures in 2009.
According to an Army report, 26 active-duty soldiers and 12 Army National Guard or Army Reserve members were suspected of or confirmed to have died by suicide.
The soldiers included a 21-year-old air traffic controller who shot himself in his Fort Wainwright, Alaska, barracks; a 26-year-old captain who died at an indoor firing range in Virginia, and a 29-year-old sergeant who had deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three soldiers died at their own hands on deployment, and 13 had deployed at least once. But nine had never seen combat, according to the Army.
I do believe suicide is preventable. To combat it effectively will require sophisticated solutions aimed at helping individuals to build resiliency and strengthen their life coping skills — Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, vice chief of staff of the Army in a written statement released to the media Aug. 16, 2012
All were men, and three-fourths were in pay grades E-3 through E-5.
The deaths bring the total number of suspected suicides by soldiers to 187 for the year: 116 on active duty and 71 nonmobilized Guard or Reserve members. The previous record for a single month was 33 in July 2011.
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