Monday, February 4, 2013
According to a study produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. military veterans accounted for an average of 22 suicides per day during 2010. This also fits within a larger narrative, as deaths by suicide have been rising as well within the country.
From the Washington Post:
The VA study indicates that more than two-thirds of the veterans who commit suicide are 50 or older, suggesting that the increase in veterans’ suicides is not primarily driven by those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“There is a perception that we have a veterans’ suicide epidemic on our hands. I don’t think that is true,” said Robert Bossarte, an epidemiologist with the VA who did the study. “The rate is going up in the country, and veterans are a part of it.” The number of suicides overall in the United States increased by nearly 11 percent between 2007 and 2010, the study says.
As a result, the percentage of veterans who die by suicide has decreased slightly since 1999, even though the total number of veterans who kill themselves has gone up, the study says.
The sad fact is this trend coincides with violence against, and caused by, veterans with instances such as the killing of veteran Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle by a former Marine; and the very-recently resolved hostage situation that resulted in the death of Naval veteran Jimmy Lee Dykes, who was killed by FBI agents for killing a school bus driver and kidnapping a 5-year-old in Alabama.