DoD/VA Effectively End Suicide Data Public Disclosure

The Count: UNKNOWN

*Editor’s note:

It appears DoD/VA leaders have ordered an end to regular, scheduled public disclosures of suicide data.

The 113th Congress seems disinterested, distracted or unwilling to demand transparency on the EXTRAORDINARY rise in veteran and active military suicides.

Therefore, The Military Suicide Report can no longer present up-to-date suicide numbers here with any confidence.

However … based on what has been previously reported by VA, DoD, and other government sources, it is certain more than 100,000 veterans and active military have died from suicide since Sept. 11, 2001.(source: US Dept of Veterans Affairs, US Center for Disease Control)

Should these department leaders decide for some strange reason to resume regular public disclosure of suicide data, this page will again be updated to reflect the reported suicide data from VA/DoD.


6 Responses

  1. The Senate and House Armed Services Comittees should immediately get together with their peers on the VA Comittees and pass law to force each service branch to release suicide data monthly on a designated date.

    Just because the Army or Navy or Marine Corps or Air Force from time to time snugly tucks away a semi-accurate news release on suicide data in some far flung electronic corner of their respective websites, does not mean the services are keeping the US citizenry informed.

    It is a poorly intentioned information management shell game which only ensures nobody knows the truth.

    It also demonstrates what you point out; that the national leadership, at the highest levels are no longer to be trusted, even by their own subordinates.

    In large numbers, sevice members are becoming disillusioned with their leaders … mainly due to this underhanded method of spewing semi-truths across the board.

    The longer this dishonest behavior goes unchecked, the more difficult it will be in the future to restore any level of public trust and confidence.

    After all, who wants to fund (with taxes) or work for crafty liars?

    What a national shame this has turned into.

    Really really really sad state of affairs.

    • I absolutely agree with you regarding the requirement for the DoD to release to the public accurate, monthly sucide data reports for every branch, with a set format, that provide the public with a “spin-free” just the facts set of numbers detailing at the very minimum:
      Total reported suicide numbers for each branch
      Total known (case completed) sucides for that branch
      Total Active Duty Suicides (anyone serving on AD regardless of their component)
      Total Guard
      Total Reserve
      Total Inactive Guard/Reserve
      Total known sucides of troops who were totally out of the military for 1-2 years.
      *Updated numbers for prior months reported

      These are just numbers-just “facts”. There is no need for any spin tactics saying what the branches are “going, fixing, or about to do”. There is no reason that this can not be done-period. There is no excuse for parroting lies.

      Furthermore, the Senate Arms committee needs to quit accepting the obvious distortions of truth being spewed by the highly “self decorated” Generals, Admirals and other Senior uniformed politicians who have no regard for my troops, who oh by the way have “names” and families, who are dying out of a great loss of hope.

      As for our troops not trusting their leaders-suicides aside, just look at the number of senior officers are making the headlines daily if not at least weekly for gross misconduct. Had our lower ranking officers and enlisteds pulled the everloving crap that our most senior uniformed politicians have been pulling over the years-we’d crucify them. Yep-best not get me started on that topic….

      • It should just simply be a monthly “deceased while on the rolls” report.

        For every death of an active duty, reserve member, guard member or ready reserve member … anybody who is not retired or discharged (without any remaining military obligation and is not on the rolls), there is a military source record of the death and there are details collected, reported, analyzed, and archived.

        The people in the HR department know about every single vacancy due to death.

        The DoD knows who is dying and the circumstances of each death. Why this information is held in a quasi-classified manner is a real head-scratcher to be sure. And even then, should one seek this data, I am sure the data seeker would need to evoke the Freedom of Information Act. And even then, might not get the truth after all.

        If American citizenry knew the true number of active military dying by suicide … well … that information probably wouldn’t distract them much from their daily “FB” lives. Sad but true.

        VA, is a different story. About 1/3 of all new veterans never step foot into the VA system. VA reports only what it knows; so if you consider there are about 25 million living veterans, and one third have no VA contact post military service, the accuracy of “22-per-day” is questionable.

        It is likely a much higher number. If you include veteran deaths by toxic drug overdose (death caused by both prescribed medicine and street drug toxicity) you would find a number closer to 75-100 per day.

        The under-reporting of all military and veterans deaths, with details or not, is rampant.

        But history will not likely forget this time, and this new dark chapter of American military history eventually catch up to these people who are collecting huge paychecks and wearing badges of national leadership.

  2. I’m not sure what is meant by this first sentence “It appears DoD/VA leaders have ordered an end to regular, scheduled public disclosures of suicide data.”

    Do mean that the monthly suicide rates will no longer be provided on the DoD website, or what? I can’t seem to locate information regarding the post.

    • Seems to be there is little interest in 2013 on behalf of the involved agencies to provide reliable, and accurate, public disclosure of suicide data on a regular schedule. Make sense?

      • I know that the “Jay Carney” clone PAO at the DoD has deliberately been delaying the release of the monthly Army suicide data report for more than a year now. You can find the partial monthly numbers of the Navy, Marines and Air Fore though early in the month at the “Medill Center” site. However, You are correct that both the DoD and VA are not providing details of incidents, and for good reason. It conflicts with the spin that is regularly spewing from the mouths of senior military officers which discredits the officer corps of every branch. Little wonder the troops find it so hard to believe their leaders.

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