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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Suicides of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan Keep Rising

According to a "Voice of America" report, an army spokesman recently said that the number of Army suicides in 2008 could reach 130, eclipsing the record number in 2007 of 115. An army report that was published a year ago noted the following numbers of Army suicides in recent years.

2003 - 79 suicides
2004 - 67 suicides
2005 - 88 suicides
2006 - 102 suicides
2007 - 115 suicides

They started keeping records in 1980. Of the record number in 2007, 31% were fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan while another 8% killed themselves within four months of their return home. The army report said there was "limited evidence" that repeated deployments were putting more of its soldiers at risk from suicide. My guess is that if they looked at it harder, they'd find a strong correlation.

Last year, CBS News did its own investigation of suicides by veterans when it couldn't get much pertinent information from the government. CBS found that recent U.S. war vets were 2 - 4 times more likely to kill themselves than other people their age.

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