22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day

The results of a new study indicate that suicide rates among veterans in the United States are increasing.

An estimated 22 military veterans take their lives every day in America, according to the study helmed by Robert Bossarte, an epidemiologist and researcher who works with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Study: 22 Military Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day « CBS DC

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12 Responses to 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day

  1. Sparks says:

    what is you opinion on this?

  2. Pathway says:

    Most deaths were of those 50 or older, so they may or may not have seen combat. Doesn’t seem like you can draw any conclusions from this study.

    • Andy OZ says:

      Over 7000 suicide deaths by US veterans each year. (2 times 911 each year)
      I think you can draw the conclusion that it’s a absolute tragedy, and that the neverending wars, since the first Gulf War, has caused the death of tens of thousands of Americans who, quite likely, would otherwise be alive and living fulfilling lives.

  3. As things seem to be falling apart, I would think the suicide rates of people of many different backgrounds is likely to be increasing. I would have to see data that indicates veterans are unique in this.

  4. kbray in california says:

    War is Hell and can be cruel to the mind.
    There can be healing for most if someone cares and creates the right environment.

    Star Trek came across some planets that had a simulated version of war that was much easier on the psyche in: “A Taste of Armageddon”


    Citizens that were bombed in the simulation were required to walk into a disintegration machine to cover their war debt and keep the peaceful simulated war going thus avoiding the nasty real combat. Kirk forced negotiations. How it resolved was left to wonder.

    Disintegration machines sound like a good idea to use with the ghetto gangs.

  5. Raindog says:

    I don’t think this study uncovered any secrets. I know several vets and the only ones that sane are the ones that didn’t see combat, such as mechanics, etc. Part of the blame can rest squarely on the previous administration for reduction in VA benefits which makes adequate mental health care for vets harder to get.

  6. Brian G Valentine says:

    They can’t afford go see a psychiatrist, or they won’t. I felt suicidal when I returned from the Iraq War and Ritalin probably saved my life.

    for whatever that is worth!!!!!!

  7. Terry Jackson says:

    WHOA! Select two independent factors and present them as though there is a proven connection. OK, how many suicides ate fast food in the previous year? Or, since this is a lifetime experience thing, compare suicides to sports participation.

  8. Bob Koss says:

    Of the 147,763 suicides reported in 21 states, 27,062 (18.3%) were identified as having history of U.S. military service on death certificates. However, Veteran status was unknown or not reported for more than 23% (n=34,027) of all suicides during the project period. Without linking to VA or DoD resources to validate history of U.S. military service, it is necessary to remove those without information on history of military service from estimates of Veteran status among suicide decedents. Among cases where history of U.S. military service was reported, Veterans comprised approximately 22.2% of all suicides reported during the project period. If this prevalence estimate is assumed to be constant across all U.S. states, an estimated 22 Veterans will have died from suicide each day in the calendar year 2010.

    Between 1999 and 2010 the average age of male Veterans who died from suicide was 59.6 years among Veterans identified on state death certificates and 54.5 years among those who could be validated using VA administrative records. The average age of male Veterans who died from suicide was considerably older than the average age of male suicide decedents who were not identified as Veterans (43.1 years.

    Here is a link to the report if you want to wade through it. I wasn’t impressed with the methodology. http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf

    They admit the data quality is poor and should be used with caution, but it looks to me like veterans are more stable than non-veterans. If 22.2% were veterans then 77.8% were not veterans. Average age for veteran suicide was also 11 or 16 years older than non-veterans depending on which age figure is used.

    I didn’t see anywhere they even made note of the non-veteran suicide rate. I think it was published just to subtlely slag veterans as being unstable.

  9. gator69 says:

    “Many ask “why are the military suicide statistics so much higher than the civilian population?”, but the more reasonable question may be “why have they not always been?”. Several factors contribute to a higher suicide rate in the military; the first is the demographic. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reported in 2007 that Suicide is the third leading cause of death in Tennessee citizens from 19 to 24 years old, and the second leading cause of death in those who are between the ages of 25 and 34. Additionally, the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network lists males as being over 5 times as likely to commit suicide as females, and white citizens nearly 3 times as likely to commit suicide as black citizens in Shelby County specifically. The tendency of white males, age 18 to 29, to commit suicide at a much higher rate that other groups is also reflected in national statistics. Depending on the source, 80 to 90% of suicide deaths are completed by white males of that particular age group. The majority of the military population match the demograhic; being predominately white, male and of the high risk age group through much of their career. With multiple deployments becoming the norm for every component, they are also under considerably more stress than the average citizen. Taking these factors into consideration it is really no wonder that the suicide rate is higher in the military than in the civilian population.”


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