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Szoldra reports: "Nearly 1,900 military veterans are thought to have taken their own lives in just 2014 alone, according to an estimate from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America."

 (photo: Jewel Samad/Getty Images)
(photo: Jewel Samad/Getty Images)


1,892 US Veterans Are Thought to Have Committed Suicide Since January 1, 2014

By Paul Szoldra, Business Insider

31 March 14

 

early 1,900 military veterans are thought to have taken their own lives in just 2014 alone, according to an estimate from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, ABC reports.

Extrapolating from a 2012 VA report that found 22 veterans took their lives each day in 2009 and 2010, IAVA members planted 1,892 flags on the National Mall Thursday to commemorate the staggering figure.

"We are losing too many of our brothers and sisters nationwide. And we’re storming the hill to change history and transform a landscape so that America will truly take care of its own who have shouldered the burdens of war,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff in a statement to Business Insider.

Planting the flags was part of a push from IAVA to "Storm the Hill" and get legislation passed to combat suicide within the military ranks. It's a huge issue — with more than half of the 2.6 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan still struggling with physical or mental health problems — many of which know a fellow service member who has attempted or committed suicide, Washington Post reports.

IAVA's efforts have made an impact, as Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), the first Iraq war veteran to serve in the senate, introduced comprehensive legislation that would increase mental health professionals at VA, enhance collaboration with the Pentagon, and review cases of soldiers who may have been wrongly discharged for "invisible wounds."

"Returning home from combat does not erase what happened there, and yet red tape and government dysfunction have blocked access to the care that saves lives," Walsh said in a statement to Business Insider. "It is our duty to come together for real solutions for our heroes."

S.2182, or the Suicide Prevention for America's Veterans Act, now heads to the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee.


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+98 # fredboy 2014-03-31 21:45
Having just undertaken a depth review of PTSD, I am amazed our nation is not attuned to this tragic trauma-induced epidemic. There are paths to wellness. Please urge your federal, state, and local officials to put this on the top of their attention lists.
 
 
0 # ragnarok 2014-12-08 08:00
The Obama Administration has been the most hateful politically devious group we have ever had in the WH. Remember, Obama was voted the most Liberal Senator in Congress. Democrat's lied about his past, Reid has silenced the People's voice by ignoring 400 bills from the House, letting them sit.

Obama intentionally shutdown government by setting up Congress with his ridiculous Sequestration brain child where he stripped more funding from the Military and barricaded the WWII memorial sidewalk. I don't recall any Democrats out their pushing barricades aside.

Sorry for the rant, however, liberals and/or Democrats are misleading people by attaching this article to spout political hatred towards the GOP. Claiming they blocked bills etc, playing to those unaware that Democrats have controlled the Senate since 2006.

Clinton closed bases and made major cuts when things were good economically. Obama is just clearly showing his clear hatred for our country and it's constitution by constantly attacking the men the provide the security and freedoms the allow the USA to exist. So I will continue to gladly give to military groups that support helping their comrades since the Liberal and Democratic parties love to bite the hand that feeds them.
 
 
+1 # RonnieBlack2 2015-09-19 17:20
Bullshit....
 
 
+2 # ArmyVet 2014-12-10 12:11
I don't know what sources you have researched for your "IN-DEPTH REVIEW" of PTSD but if you think it is "This tragic trauma-induced epidemic" you are not researching the full picture. As a two-tour combat vet it seems to me that you are allowing the liberal news media drive your research. Truth be known...you are probably getting your research from them. You had better do your homework.
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2014-03-31 21:51
Add this to the ever-growing tab of the Dimwits - Blair - Cheney - Rice - Rumsfeld chickenhawk-cow ard, war criminal, Hell-destined pretenders, who (In the Cheney-ghoul's words) would "do it again" for their own black-hearted agenda.
It's even worse if you can be forced to acknowledge Michael Parenti's posit that Dimwits Bush wasn't stupid but had helped to accomplish it all along.
I'll hold my own judgement on that out of respect for Mr. Parenti, one of my favorite progressive speaker/writers -he realy tells it is in the manner of George Galloway with a Brooklyn accent but the result is the same.
A bunch of fuckin'; de-humanized criminal colluders in one of the worst lie-instigated "Conflicts" in the last part of the 20th century -Vietnam is it's progenitor.
I can't come up with a publishable phrase to describe these lowest common denominator excuses for humanity at it's worst so I'll leave it at than.
"The evil than men do lives on after them!".
 
 
-50 # jsluka 2014-03-31 22:43
This can't be correct. It's based on "extrapolation. " And even then, its got to be wrong. That many suicides in just three months simply isn't credible/possib le. So this is really a sort of propaganda article - that is, its purposely shocking and exaggerated in order to make a point, rather than to state facts. At least a truly hope I'm wrong about this.
 
 
0 # ragnarok 2014-12-08 08:05
I haven't checked the actual suicide total, but Liberals and Democrats are attaching this article to numerous articles claimed the Senate Controlled GOP is responsible because they have blocked bills.

YES, I KNOW THE SENATE HAS BEEN DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED SINCE 2006. BUT APPARENTLY MANY LIBERALS AND DEMOCRATS WILL JUST JUMP ON THAT HATE BANDWAGON AND NOT DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH.
The Obama Administration has been the most hateful politically devious group we have ever had in the WH. Remember, Obama was voted the most Liberal Senator in Congress. Democrat's lied about his past, Reid has silenced the People's voice by ignoring 400 bills from the House, letting them sit.

Obama intentionally shutdown government by setting up Congress with his ridiculous Sequestration brain child where he stripped more funding from the Military and barricaded the WWII memorial sidewalk. I don't recall any Democrats out their pushing barricades aside.

Demoocrats have controlled the Senate since 2006.

Obama is just clearly showing his clear hatred for our country and it's constitution by constantly attacking the men the provide the security and freedoms the allow the USA to exist. So I will continue to gladly give to military groups that support helping their comrades since the Liberal and Democratic parties love to bite the hand that feeds them.

for the easily duped -
https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm
 
 
0 # ArmyVet 2014-12-10 12:15
Veteran suicides make up about 1% of total suicides...whil e veterans make up about 12% of the adult population. So, the total suicide rate is 12 times higher than the Veteran suicide rate.
 
 
+67 # Brumbyy with 2Ys 2014-03-31 23:25
jsluka, take a look at this report and know the story is correct. Sadly: http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/suicide-data-report-2012-final.pdf
 
 
+90 # jsluka 2014-04-01 22:35
Quoting Brumbyy with 2Ys:
jsluka, take a look at this report and know the story is correct. Sadly: http://www.va.gov/opa/docs/suicide-data-report-2012-final.pdf


Thank you VERY much Sir, for proving me wrong and informing me of the truth; this report is very informative, and confirms an average of 18-22 veteran suicides per day. I was wrong to believe that could not be true; it just seemed to be such a huge a number to me! My heart bleeds at this terrible tragedy.
Again, sincere thanks for your very helpful, informative, fact-based reply.
Best wishes to you!
 
 
+14 # tigerlillie 2014-04-01 01:45
What, they didn't find meaning in being the private army of multinational companies?

Unbelievably tragic.
 
 
-202 # RLF 2014-04-01 06:42
It wasn't the video thrill they thought when they volunteered...r emember...they all fucking volunteered! Don't ask me to cry because they are idiots!
 
 
+116 # proudso1dier 2014-05-09 04:03
Quoting RLF:
It wasn't the video thrill they thought when they volunteered...remember...they all fucking volunteered! Don't ask me to cry because they are idiots!

Mr.Idoit,
We fight for your right to sit on your as at a computer somewhere and talk shit about what it is we do. Some have seen friends/family die in order for ungrateful people like you to say dumb shit like they asked for it. No one asked for war. But as a soldier i agreed to do what you were too scared to do. Freedom isn't free, but i dont see you paying the price for it. So the next time you get it into your head to call me an idiot, i want to to take a nap, and while you're sleeping dreaming of unicorns and faeries. I'll be wearing my ACUs kicking butt so you can live an illusion.
 
 
+38 # melnandy 2014-07-06 09:58
You have a twisted view of why most people go into the military. God forbid you ever see the day when we actually need our military, and those brave men and women get to do exactly what they signed up to do: protect us. In the meantime, a large number of people intending to do good were used up by the most horrible people in the world, and spit out without a care. They are suffering and deserve our help.
 
 
+12 # melnandy 2014-07-06 09:52
Quoting tigerlillie:
What, they didn't find meaning in being the private army of multinational companies?

I do hope you don't think people go into the military thinking, "now I can protect corporate interests abroad!"
 
 
0 # ragnarok 2014-12-08 08:11
you left out Liberally - Democratically controlled Congress. But I know, you will stick with the lame excuse "it's Bush's fault" because Obama has been the Great American Experiment Disaster. O.B.A.M.A. One Big Ass Mistake America
 
 
-216 # Citizen Mike 2014-04-01 06:17
Let's remember, these are not draftees but volunteers. They asked for it.
 
 
-86 # jsluka 2014-04-01 22:24
Quoting Citizen Mike:
Let's remember, these are not draftees but volunteers. They asked for it.

I agree Citizen Mike; "What if they gave a war and no one came?"
During the Vietnam War, the antiwar protesters also chose to point some of the blame, not just at the government, but at the soldiers who volunteered to fight it rather than resist. That's not a popular sentiment now, but I think it was a just and necessary action. I'll share the space of the "thumbed down" with you on this my friend.
 
 
+63 # Organic 2014-04-02 13:14
Some did volunteer to go to Viet Nam, others went because they were drafted. Never having been drafted myself I would find it hard to cast blame on these guys. It was a rotten choice to be given.
 
 
-1 # ArmyVet 2014-12-10 12:23
70% of Vietnam vets were Volunteers in the Military. 12.5% of total Vietnam vets were black. About 5% were Hispanic. 70% of casualties were Caucasian. The median age of casualties was 23. VA records show that the PTSD counseling rate was 1.2% of Vietnam vets. Read STOLEN VALOR, By: B.G. Burkett
 
 
+64 # Gp-mom 2014-05-09 11:42
Many people decide to join the military because of issues in their life, like not being able to get a job or even training for a job. Many people grow up in horrendous situations (abandoned as a child, abused, siblings killed by neighbors with guns). Many other people have a lot of pressure on them to join from the time they were children because that's what dad or grandpa did. Someone looks at their own life and says they don't want to go down a bad path to follow in their family's footsteps, where can they go? Where can they can get job training? Where can they receive discipline since they've never had it? The people who are writing in this forum have no idea why people join up. That's because it's a personal decision like which school to go to or what trade to enter. Since you're much wiser than the rest of us, and obviously not made major decisions in your life (some good, some bad), please explain again why someone who johns the military trying to make the best out of their life but then sees horrific things (that would destroy people like you) and comes home injured (physically or mentally) why should be ignored? I'm all ears.
 
 
+132 # ladyvet9 2014-04-29 09:33
Whether we asked for it or not doesn't relieve the nation we fought for from the responsibility of taking care of us post war. You should be thanking vets for defending your 1st amendment right to make yourself look like a moron in forums. There are other nations that would arrest you for less, perhaps you might go visit some of them.
 
 
+15 # proudso1dier 2014-05-09 04:04
Quoting Citizen Mike:
Let's remember, these are not draftees but volunteers. They asked for it.

See response above you.
 
 
+69 # propsguy 2014-04-01 06:37
a suicide prevention law passed by the house and senate will not prevent suicides. stop sending them over there

or better yet- stop going

you are not serving your country, merely being used as cannon fodder for corporate profit.

sometimes you have to wonder if that was the plan all along- send all the jobs to china so that people will have nothing left to do except volunteer to fight (die, either physically or mentally) in wars of aggression

they do not care about veterans. contrary to the supreme court's ruling and mitt romney's assertions, corporations are not human, they don't care about humans (other than their own CEO) and no law will make them care

they do nothing for us; we need to stop doing things for them. do not participate in their scheme to milk the nation for everything it's worth. stop buying their stuff and stop volunteering to fight in their wars
 
 
+54 # Mekstrand 2014-05-05 16:27
How easy it is to say just stop going and don't voluntary for it. I can't feel sorry for you because you brought this upon yourself. For many men and woman, military is the only way they are going to get a higher education. The only way they will be able to get out of where they live. But how dare they right? We should look upon them in disdain when they need help because morally this is the right thing to do?

Don't blame those that are trying to have a better life, don't blame those that think they are doing the right thing for them. Blame the ones that send them there and then don't support them. In fact how about those that have never served, just not tell those that have what they should or should not do. Lets stand together and take back our government, so it is again for the people and by the people and stop the blame game on fellow citizens.
 
 
+23 # hillsfive 2014-05-29 11:34
Let me first say I believe we do have a problem with suicide in our Military. The GOP had nothing to do with their deaths like the post says. As I read the report looks like the help all started in 2007, at the end of President Bush's term. In no place unless I missed it does it say GOP blocked any form of Legislation. And as for the facts put forth by the report a lot of it is just assumptions of what the Military personal did, or for that fact why this Brave Men and Women did what they did. I love my Military I have a serving Daughter right now, and she means the world to me. I want whats best for them but to put something like this up and be so blatantly pointing the finger at something that had nothing to do with it. Put more effort in fixing the issues and less into pointing the finger at something you just disagree with.
 
 
+5 # melnandy 2014-07-06 09:43
The finger has to be pointed here, because the GOP has in fact blocked legislation. Example: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/09/20/gop-senators-block-veterans-jobs-bill.html.

You can find more such examples, and please note I am citing "Miltary.com" - an un-biased source. The majority of military personnel, active and inactive are republicans, and feel betrayed by their party. Some have even started a blog site "Republicans for Obama."
 
 
+16 # bnice4m2 2014-05-30 00:00
First of all those, some of us who join the Military do it because we love our country. Just because the politicians our crooked that is not what defines our country, we define our country. Some of us join the ranks of our Fathers, Grandfathers, Great Grandfathers and so on to protect the freedoms that you use to write that filth. Just because you don't have a set to do something that does not revolve around you, don't go putting others down that actually do something for you. And second of all, you have to realize how many Veterans there are. Think of all active duty military there are, how many reserves there are and think about how many have been in for the past 100 years. Not all of them may be alive but your talking at least min 1 million easy. There are bases that have thousands of military just on one base. Think how many have been discharged since 911. How many from Vietnam, Cuba. Think about how many bases are around the world and how many military personnel are on each base. Those numbers are most likely low if not accurate.
 
 
+11 # melnandy 2014-07-06 09:14
How can people be so ignorant, judgmental, and mean-spirited as to say our volunteer soldiers deserve this? What a huge amount of blind assumptions and lack of humanity going into such a vitriolic statement.

That being said, I do not know a single veteran who doesn't believe the only war truly worth fighting was WWII. No conflict since has been about protecting our country or our freedoms; every conflict since has been about protecting corporate interests and making up for blundered foreign policy. The men who did multiple tours in Vietnam knew this; they were going back for their brothers, not us.

Since WWII, there has not been a time when our country, or the world for that matter, has been in danger of being overrun by a dictatorial, murderous lunatic. There have been and are some very Hitler-like people on this planet, but they are very few, and very far between, and not very likely to ever reach the horrible heights of the Third Reich. But should such a time come, we will need our fighting forces. We will need our weapons, and our highly trained men and women. So to those who seem to hate the military so much, what would you have us do?

While you're thinking about that, because I don't think you have a solution readily available, let's think about the PEOPLE who are suffering NOW, and need our help; the PEOPLE who likely put themselves in harm's way thinking they were helping US. And let's also think about the innocents of other countries also in need. Be human!
 
 
-2 # ragnarok 2014-12-08 08:17
Your first answer - IGNORANCE.
 
 
+6 # emmapearline49 2014-07-15 18:50
"Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country " Now who knows who said this? SO much pain and sorrow during the Vietnam was for ALL. There is so much to be said but you would have had to live through it to understand.

Emma
 
 
+4 # Orawczyk 2014-09-15 12:31
S. 2182 appears stuck in the Veteran's Affairs Committee and is unlikely to be debated on the floor of the House or Senate. That said, in reading the text, we may speculate the language in the bill may be objectionable to some members of Congress because it affords those discharged on a punitive bases, or under other than honorable conditions to appeal their discharge under the claim the separation resulted from "... a mental health injury or disorder incurred or aggravated by the individual during service in the Armed Forces." Thus transferring responsibility from the individual to the military's failure to properly treat the illness, as opposed to simply discarding the sick trouble maker back into society.

It should be noted that of the 14 cosponsors, only Sen Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is a Republican, inferring a partisan divide to the bill.

The House version of the bill is H.R. 5048, and it too is stuck in committee.
 
 
+4 # PhilipChinNOLA 2014-09-22 15:35
This VA report says that most of these suicides are Veterans that are 60 years old (page 16) and 50% die of poisoning...i.e . ALCOHOL and DRUGS (page 34).

Let me point out that Robin Williams, the comedian, committed suicide, and he had everything, e.g. friends, fans who loved him, more money than you and I, and the best mental health care out there. Hence, if the best mental health care, education and jobs doesn't work for Hollywood celebrities and the Rich, why would more money for healthcare, education and jobs work for these Veterans or the Poor?

And on that note, let's look at how someone 20 to 25 years later AFTER service wants to commit suicide....

Note: You might have to COPY and PASTE link below, sorry for inconvenience.

PHOTO: Are You Feeding The Homeless? Or, Are you feeding the Addiction?
http://tinyurl.com/lajnco5

Long term plan to "Break the Addiction"
Use Breakcrumbs
http://tinyurl.com/nrvnxp9
 
 
+5 # Antares4141 2014-10-17 14:20
Words can't express my gratitude for all the sacrifices that were made by our veterans and there family's. Who regardless of weather these wars ultimately were right or wrong did what they thought was right. My opinion hindsight is always 20/20. If doing nothing culminated into one of our cities being nuked the same people would be bitching we didn't do enough.
 
 
0 # Progressive Texas Democrat 2014-11-24 05:02
The stats on this and other the other costs of committing armed forces to engagements should be thoroughly and publicly analyzed and reported on prior to any commitment motivated by a Congress that's never seen combat, or a public distracted by flags, marching bands, a fear mongering corporate media, and Ted Nugent wannabes.
 
 
-1 # ragnarok 2014-12-08 08:23
LMAO. Democrats have had control of the Senate since 2006 and have slowly sliced away at individual freedoms and grossly attacked the military. They voted to go to war but voted not to fund it. More military has died under this idiotic Progressive Liberal Democrat in office because he is clueless and a farce. And you have your snot nose buddies putting lies all over the internet blaming the GOP. But you go on and continue to be proud of destroying the best military on the face of the Earth, the Freest Country in the World, taxing families into homelessness and death paneling the Elderly . . . etc etc. Move back to NY or CA. Texas doesn't need you. Stop taking advantage of all the freedoms, privileges and tax breaks here and go back to your ilk.
 
 
+3 # watercruiser 2014-12-10 10:24
Let's at least get our history straight. Until Al Franken was sworn in on July 7, 2009 the Democratic caucus in the Senate stood at 59. After that it was technically up to 60, but Ted Kennedy hadn't cast a vote in months and was housebound due to illness. He died a few weeks later and was replaced by Paul Kirk on September 24, finally bringing the Democratic majority up to 60 in practice as well as theory. After that the Senate was in session for 11 weeks before taking its winter recess, followed by three weeks until Scott Brown won Kennedy's seat in the Massachusetts special election.

Democrats had an effective filibuster-proo f majority for about 14 weeks.

On October 23, 2010, Senate Minority Leader McConnell said: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Since that time, Republicans have broken all records for the use of the filibuster. For the first time in history a Senator (McConnell) filibustered his own bill which had been a political ploy to begin with and backfired when Reid scheduled a vote. McConnell and republicans have filibustered veterans bills, jobs bills etc., all in the cynical attempt play politics instead of helping people. Those are the facts.
 
 
0 # ArmyVet 2014-12-10 12:01
As a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 2 combat tours I have some thoughts on this. First of all...one suicide is too many...BUT...le t's put this in perspective. IF 22 vets a day commit suicide that would be about 8,000 a year. The average TOTAL suicides in the USA are 800,000 a year. That would make veteran suicides about 1% of the total. However...veter ans make up approximately 12% of the adult population. So, the total suicide rate is 12 times higher than the veteran rate.

Concerning PTSD...it's important to understand that in the Army and Marines only about 20% of the deployed force ever encounters the enemy at all (the % is much lower for the Air Force and Navy.) It takes about 80% of the force to provide the support necessary for the 20% combat forces. So, the exposure to traumatic combat events is much lower than the public thinks. VA Medical records show that the PTSD treatment rate for WW2 was about 11% of those deployed. The Korean War vets had a 5% treatment rate and the Vietnam vets had a 1.2% treatment rate. We will have to wait for the War on Terror Rate but I suspect it will be about as low as the Vietnam rate. The reason PTSD is so much in the news is that the news media goes off the deep end when a PTSD-related event happens. The mostly-false PTSD "CLOUD" puts returning vets in an unfair light. It's a shame that the media tries to convince you that most vets are PTSD_Ravaged and Homeless. BTW-For TRUTH about Vietnam read STOLEN VALOR.
 

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