December 13, 2007, - 2:43 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
A record high number of U.S. Army soldiers have committed suicide, this year, according to Army statistics of suspected and confirmed suicides. The number–a rate of 18.4% per 100,000 soldiers is the highest since the Army started counting in 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The figures are troubling. And because they want to blame it on our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, MSM outlets like USA Today, are making the story front page news. And liberal Senators, like Patty Murray (D-Washington) are also blaming it on that.
But there’s another story behind the numbers:
We don’t know how many of those who committed suicide were even sent to the war zone. And Army research shows that almost 70% of suicides in 2006 were spurred by failed relationships. Did those relationships fail because one spouse was stuck in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or were there other causes. Also, the stats show that, but for a dip in the suicide numbers in 2004 (in the middle of our Iraqi involvement), the suicide rate has climbed steadily, including in 2001 and 2002–before we ever went to Iraq.
You can blame a lot of things on the war in Iraq. But not this.
Tags: Afghanistan, Army, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Debbie Schlussel, Iraq, Patty Murray, United States Army, USA Today, Washington