Army Suicides Hit Record and Will Likely Continue to Rise
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 20, 2009
Thursday 19 November 2009
Suicides among veterans and soldiers have reached a record high this year and are set to continue rising, Pentagon officials said.
The announcement, coming on the day that the suicide rate for 2009 reached the record number of 2008, leaves advocates worrying about the possible troop escalation President Obama is considering for Afghanistan and the measures the Army has in place to deal with the combat scars which leave no physical trace.
Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the Army, called the news “horrible,” and said during a news conference Tuesday “we are almost certainly going to end the year higher than last year.”
As of November 16, 2009, 140 soldiers on active duty have taken their own lives, with 71 soldiers not on active duty whose death has also been identified as a suicide. The suicide rate for 2008 was the worst in three decades, and in January 2009, 24 soldiers killed themselves – more than died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.