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Soldier Suicides Claimed More Troops In 2012 Than Combat Deaths

soldier suicide 2012

US soldier suicides hit a sad milestone in 2012, outpacing combat deaths as the leading cause of death for American troops.

The tragic number of soldier suicides comes from the Department of the Army, and seem to continue last year’s trend of increasing soldier suicides in US military personnel.

According to data reviewed by CBS, 303 active-duty, Reserve and National Guard soldiers took their own lives through November in the US, versus 212 combat deaths recorded in Afghanistan.

Due the the often-unclear nature of self-inflicted mortal injury, the data reviewed is not entirely clear on precise numbers — but CBS says:

“The Army set a grim new record of 177 potential active-duty cases with 2012 coming to a close on Tuesday – 64 of these cases remain under investigation, 113 have been confirmed.”

In 2011, a record number of soldier suicides were observed as well, and in June, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the worrying trend and indicated that some of the issues troops face upon their return could be mitigating factors in the increase in suicide:

” … we’re dealing with broader societal issues … Substance abuse, financial distress and relationship problems — the risk factors for suicide — also reflect problems … that will endure beyond war.”

Pictured: US troops in Afghanistan

Stars And Stripes reports that lawmakers have begun to address soldier suicide, adding that gun rights groups oppose the measure:

“A bipartisan group of 36 lawmakers is pushing for new rules allowing military commanders and mental health specialists to ask unstable troops whether they own any personal firearms; lawmakers from both the House and the Senate are working on a final compromise version of the legislation.”

According to the military-centric site, soldier suicides increased in 2012 despite increased awareness of the growing issue.

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19 Responses to “Soldier Suicides Claimed More Troops In 2012 Than Combat Deaths”

  1. Steph Bazzle

    I am pretty sure the only way this could've been sadder or scarier for me is if it had been a few years earlier. I am familiar closely with the stories of a few whose requests for help were ignored or denied. Asking for help shouldn't come with negative stigma or fear of reprisal.

  2. Anonymous

    The best advice I can give having been there, is recognize the signs and get help and help each other. No one hates war more than a soldier.

  3. Dan Schlamp

    Sent there by Bush… don't fool yourself, Obama wants our boys HOME; you rednecks in the Congress want to keep them dying for OIL

  4. Scott Wimmer

    grvsof, you are a jack-wagon.The Iraq war was a Bush war. Started by, and supported by most everyone.

  5. Tom Hoban

    the idea that we were serving a just God has helped troops to deal with the injustice and horror of war throughout history. In recent years we have essentially taught that imbibing a fear of God in children borders on abuse. We now worship such things as sensitivity, good feelings and a belief that we are in control of things and wars have always taken these things away from combatants. A belief in God would help a soldier to rationalize that his sacrifices served a purpose, but where can the soldier turn today when he is told that there is no God?

  6. Anonymous

    not everyone can kill without remorse, if you think you can justify it with god, think again, killing is murder in any context.

  7. Dan Rivers

    foolish people all over the globe I wish sorry Americans would quit blaming this party or that or this reason or that..we send our young service people where they see horrible killings of americans and foreign soldiers than we expect them to be ok when they come home.In a person mind they decide what is right and what is not..we need a much different and stronger hospital system for them than ever existed but the sadest truth is that people in charge of our troops health don't really help they coverup and hide things we need to reinvent government and the health care system called the VA to help them. I cant even contact Washington as hard as I have tried in the last year to get someone to see all the wrongs they don't want to listen.

  8. Anonymous

    Not so. Murder can be defined as "killing a human being out of hatred", to be differentiated out of killing in order to protect others. As far as "justifying with God", have you must have entirely missed the whole Old Testament. Many of the heros of the faith, Old Testament men of God, had to kill in order to protect Israel.

  9. Anonymous

    P.S.- In addition to numerous Old Testament examples, we have the New Testament book of Romans which speaks of those who "…bear not the sword in vain" in order to keep evildoers in check. Grow some balls and support law enforcement, the armed forces and those who have to "bear the sword". Sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do, and if it is to protect others and not out of hatred, then God stands behind us.

  10. Eunis Rutledge

    amen and you are so right about the cover up, false data and no one cares or wants to hear!!!! I am a nurse and in my opinion, have been silenced "one way or another" for speaking out , but be assured – it is almost impossible to prove due to the blind folds workers wear, to collect a secure paycheck and retirement. I am a nurse unable to work due to an injury, but mostly mental trauma from trying to help our heros and being ostrasized, falsley accused of incompetence, laziness and anything else their nice "numbers data" can "prove". I feel The system that serves our Veterans is skilled at picking a choice few to be get quality services, and those lucky few are nothing in number, compared to those unable to navagate and advocate for themselves! God Bless our Veterans and shame on our Government

  11. Eunis Rutledge

    Eunis Rutledge · North Branch, Michigan

    amen and you are so right about the cover up, false data and no one cares or wants to hear!!!! I am a nurse and in my opinion, have been silenced "one way or another" for speaking out , but be assured – it is almost impossible to prove due to the blind folds workers wear, to collect a secure paycheck and retirement. I am a nurse unable to work due to an injury, but mostly mental trauma from trying to help our heros and being ostrasized, falsley accused of incompetence, laziness and anything else their nice "numbers data" can "prove". I feel The system that serves our Veterans is skilled at picking a choice few to be get quality services, and those lucky few are nothing in number, compared to those unable to navagate and advocate for themselves! God Bless our Veterans and shame on our Government

  12. Brian Crisp

    Lying to someone just to make them feel better isn't the answer. They need real things that they can count on and real people's love and support. Really, what is the point in believing in something that isn't real simply because it makes you feel better?

  13. Jeff Kristof

    Since you are so unstable, let me ask you this; Do you own any guns? "Yes". Okay.

    What good does that do? To me that would make the problem worse.

  14. Jeff Kristof

    I am a Christian and I can see where you are coming from, but what do you tell the people that do not believe in a heaven or a hell? That's their right as a human being and that being the case; it's not really fair to say rather that person would have lived or died rather he believed in God or not. Honestly, that's nobody's place to say other than the person behind the tool that's used to take their own life.