December 13, 2007, - 2:43 pm

The Story Behind the Rise in Army Suicides

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.

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2 Responses

Here’s another article debunking the story.

PJ on December 13, 2007 at 5:06 pm

I saw this headline somewhere today and ignored it, knowing there was some kind of spin to it as the byline was USA Today.
Remember ’02 and ’04 when the first soldiers started returning from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq and three of four of them killed their wives and/or themselves soon after their return home? And the media blamed it on the war. And now we have the info today about ’06.
I was an Army CID Special Agent and investigated a lot of deaths, including suicides. That 70% of the ’06 suicides had some relationship failure in them is not a surprise.
I’ll give you a clue as to what’s a large chunk of those suicides: warriors who come home to find their women have cheated on them. The military is full of faithful, honorable women who wait patiently for their men to come home. But, truthfully, in my professional experience; a small percentage of them are just sluts, just like the rest of society, I imagine.
If a man was off on some training mission to Fort Polk or Fort Irwin for 3 months and came back to find his wife had been unfaithful, it wouldn’t be so bad. But when he’s been gone for a year, maybe more, fighting for her freedom and that of everyone back here “in the world” and he discovers her betrayal Ö that’s different in his soul.
Goes for lady warriors with unfaithful men, too.

undaunted on December 13, 2007 at 5:23 pm

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