PAINFUL REALITY: Suicide Killing More Soldiers Than Any Other Cause, DoD Leaders Claim They “Don’t Know” Why

At the Aug. 6, 2010 funeral for 27-year-old Sgt. Kortney Jensen, Kelly Jensen, Kortney’s father, along with Kortney’s two sisters Kelsey Riley and Brooke Gold grieve. Jensen killed himself after two combat tours in Iraq, where he received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for valor. The funeral took place at Woodland Park in Farmington, Utah. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in the Army. DoD-wide, service members take their own lives at a rate of slightly higher than one per day. Among veterans, the suicide rate is thought to be far higher with at least 6,500 lives lost annually according to VA estimates. (Leah Hogsten/Salt Lake City Tribune)


Suicide is Now the Leading Cause of Death Amongst Active-Duty Soldiers

by Cord Jefferson
Gawker.com, Aug. 23, 2012

In 2010, for the second year in a row, more American soldiers killed themselves than died in combat.

Military officials knew they had an epidemic on their hands, but they didn’t know how to mitigate the hyper-complex problem. It wasn’t as easy as saying, “they all have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,” because a significant number of the soldiers who were killing themselves had never even seen combat.

Sgt. Kortney Jensen, reserve soldier twice awarded the Purple Heart medal in addition to a Bronze Star for valor during two deployments to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division and the 321st Engineer Battalion before taking his own life inside a friend’s garage July 31, 2010. (DoD)


“If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times back then, “because we don’t know what it is.”

Two years later, Chiarelli and his colleagues are still failing to protect their troops from themselves.

Thirty-eight Army members killed themselves in July, making that the worst month for soldier suicides the Army has had since it began tracking its suicide rates.

In all other branches, the suicide rate for active-duty personnel is up 22 percent from where it was last year. At the rate it’s going, experts say it could become such that one troop per day is taking their own life.

View this story at its source:

http://gawker.com/5937258/suicide-is-now-the-leading-cause-of-death-amongst-active+duty-soldiers?tag=military

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