HUMAN COSTS (as of Nov.15, 2010)
US Military Suicides
Total: over 2,000 (Houston Chronicle May 17, 2009)
2010: 32 in June 2010 (highest rate since records began in 1980)*
NOTE: Latest estimates (cited by Jim Wallis, and Vietnam Vets Against War) are saying 15-18 suicides a DAY, among veterans of all wars
2003: 80 est. 2004: 55 est.
2005: 95 est.
2009: 334 [Army 211, Navy 47, Marine Corps 42, Air Force, 34]
One reason for the apparent tripling of suicides in 2009 might lie in a previous undercount. The 2003-2008 figures are from the New York Times based on Army figures, including Reserves and National Guard. The 2009 total of 334 is from the Congressional Quarterly website, congress.org , cited by late Rep. John Murtha. Other fatalities which may be suicides are listed in ambiguous categories such as "undetermined cause" or "still being investigated."
According to the Houston Chronicle May 17, 2009, the true numbers are staggering. Overall, the Chronicle reported that 988 soldiers in the Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, and at least 997 in the Navy, Navy Reserve, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Marines and Coast Guard - 1,985 total -- committed suicide from 2001 to early 2009. At least 225 more suicides have occurred since the Chronicle article was published. (Tom Hayden, Huffington Post, Feb.25, 2010)
PTSD: In war there are no unwounded soldiers
33%** of returning Iraq & Afgh. War soldiers report symptoms of mental health or cognitive problems
300,000 troops deployed to Iraq & Afgh. currently suffer from PTSD
320,000 reported Traumatic Brain Injuries during deployment
note: 17% of combat troops are women. 71% of female military develop PTSD due to sexual assault within ranks
* 20 months after Army began expanding its suicide prevention program. Suicides continue unabated
** (2010 rate jumped by 50% from 2009, that's just diagnosed cases.)