This is Memorial Day, and I’ve chosen to honor them and their memory by making readers aware of an issue that is very close to my heart. This is a drum I’m going to keep beating until the number of veteran suicides per capita is exactly the same as the rest of the population. From the linked article:
Military suicides have increased since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Center for a New American Security Suicide report. In the fiscal year 2009 alone, 1,868 veterans of these wars have made suicide attempts, according to armytimes.com.
A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes, a fact the study attributes to the VA.
These staggering figures underscore the need for the VA to develop more mental-health programs and an accurate system for recording the number of veterans and service members who take their lives.
Here’s another fact about veteran suicide:
Veterans are more than twice as likely as non-veterans to commit suicide and the “Katz Suicide Study,” dated February 21, 2008, found that suicide rates among veterans are approximately 3 times higher than in the general population.
If you know of a veteran in crisis, please encourage him to dial the National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK and press 1 to speak to a counselor, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you must, call the number *yourself* to talk to a counselor.
To learn more about the Veteran’s Crisis Line: http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/
Our veterans are our best and our brightest, and this is a battle we are losing.
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