US army suicides surpass combat deaths in Afghanistan
Source: Press TV
Published: Thursday 25 October, 2012
Even without Army data for October, the number of deaths believed to be suicides among U.S. Army personnel from January through September still surpasses the combined military combat deaths in Afghanistan from January up to October 22.
In 2012, there have been a total of 247 suspected suicides among Army active and reserve duty personnel. Of those, 158 have been confirmed as suicides and 89 remain under investigation.
According to the Afghanistan Index database maintained by the Brookings Institution, there have been 222 combined military deaths in 2012 among active and reserve components from “hostile causes,” as of Sept. 28. CNS News
FACTS & FIGURES
Mental-health problems were the top reason troops were hospitalized in 2011, according to a May Pentagon report. Nearly 22,000 troops were hospitalized with mental disorders last year, 54% more than in 2007. Time
The Army has been struggling to deal with the suicide problem since numbers began rising in 2004. This year, the average is nearly one soldier suicide a day. NPR
Suicidal behavior in the military is related to cumulative stress from combat duty, but it also is believed to be linked to a range of other pressures such as marital and financial problems as well as health issues. AP
In comments before Congress in July, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta characterized the suicide rate as “an epidemic.” Gen. Loyd J. Austin III, the Army’s vice-chief of staff, commented, “Suicide is the toughest enemy I have faced in my 37 years in the Army.” wsws.org