MORE SUICIDES THAN VIETNAM WAR DEATHS

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Since 2008, more than 60,000 U.S. veterans have taken their own lives. When soldiers return home from war, many may feel that the worst is over: they made it back alive, and are now free to live lives free of the risks of combat.

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U.S. Department of Defense/Senior Airman Donald Hudson. Veterans pay their respects at a Veterans Day ceremony in 2017. 6,139 veterans killed themselves that year. Nov. 10, 2017. Yokota Air Base, Japan.

The reality, however, is much more alarming: more U.S. veterans have committed suicide between 2008 and 2017 than died during the entire Vietnam War, according to the defense news site Military.com. These alarming rates were shared earlier this fall in a report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The U.S. suffered around 58,000 fatalities over the course of the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1955 to 1975. These deaths made it one of the most culturally affecting wars of the post-WWII era. That conflict has now taken a back-seat to the on-going crisis of U.S. veteran suicides, which has now claimed the lives of more than 60,000 U.S. veterans.

This confounding statistic is a stark reminder that a focus on mental health for those returning from combat may be far more critical than treatment from physical injuries.

While the total number of veterans declined by 18 percent over the decade after 2008, the fact remains that more than 6,000 veterans committed suicide each year during that same time frame.

The VA’s 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report also revealed that in more than half of veteran suicides, a firearm was preferred as the last exit. Guns were the suicide method for 70.7 percent of male veterans in 2017, compared to 43.2 percent of female veterans that same year.

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According to Stars and Stripes, 6,139 veterans killed themselves in 2017, an increase of two percent over veteran suicides the previous year, and a total increase of six percent since 2008.

The report also found that there is a frightening number of suicides among former National Guard and Reserve members. These veterans never saw active service, as the military describes it, and thus have no access to VA services. Within this group, there were 919 suicides in 2017, a rate of 2.5 suicides per day.

In total, around 12.4 percent of all military suicides in 2017 came from this group. It was also the first year that the suicide rate for veterans reached 1.5 times the rates for non-veteran adults.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie stated that the department is simply incapable of addressing the issue, that it needs help from the private sector to properly tackle it.

‘VA is working to prevent suicide among all veterans, whether they are enrolled in VA health care or not,’ he said. ‘That’s why the department has adopted a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention, using strategies that cut across various sectors to reach veterans where they live.’

‘We cannot do this alone,’ added Dr Richard Stone, the executive heading the Veterans Health Administration. ‘We call on our community partners to join us in this effort.’

The fact that the VA, which is exclusively focused on the physical and mental health of U.S. veterans, is struggling to fulfil its mandate should be alarming to every single citizen. One would think taxpayer money, most of which is allocated to the military budget, would help.

Psychologist and leader of the National Center for Veterans Studies, Craig Bryan, explained that organizing these statistics into informative datasets could make budget allocations more effective, which would be a great start.

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‘The benefit of separating subgroups is that it can help us identify higher-risk subgroups of the whole, which may be able to help us determine where and how to best focus resources,’ he said.

According to Dr Stone, the only current, viable approach is a concerted effort on behalf of every single institution that can help to do whatever they can. ‘We will only be successful at preventing suicide if we break this work into actionable, manageable steps.

! ! You have robbed me of my dream to bomb Iran

After learning about the veterans’ suicide crisis that has claimed more U.S. soldiers’ lives than the Vietnam War, take a look at 22 portraits of U.S. veterans after a decade of war in the Middle East. Then, learn about the Vietnam veteran who died covered in ant bites at a Veterans Affairs hospital.

Be sure to check out a photo history of the Vietnam War and photographs of Syria after 5 years of civil war.

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5 comments

  • Pingback: MORE SUICIDES THAN VIETNAM WAR DEATHS | altnews.org

  • Mike: I should write a book on this but briefly, all these veterans enlisted, and today, because of Mohammed Ali aka Cassius Clay they could have refused combat zones aka become conscientious objectors. Ali had enough $$ and took this to the US Supreme Court in about 1960, I, like Ali can NOT kill another innocent man, just because the jew banker wants $$. I am White, Ali was Black, but my hero.

    I tried in ~1952 for conscientious objector status, but in 1952 it was NOT available to Lutherans. I was in ROTC at UWMadison WISCONSIN, but lost my exemption in early ’53 due to my anti-war views and was drafted into the USArmy Mar. ’53. Went through basic, leadership and officers candidate school. Refused a commission, they wanted me to sign up for 2 years and I wanted to get back to school. After many months of army undecided what to do with me and less than a year left, I ended up going to war in Korea. Yes, war had somewhat ceased, but I refused at Scolfield Barracks to get on transport to take me to Korea. My MOS was on a quad 50 using 50mm machine guns. End result, court martial-ed to 7 years in prison. By rare coincidence, the minister that baptized near birth, was the chaplain at Scolfield but did NOT recognize my name. He called me a traitor and suggested I committed suicide. At home, in Chicago, my parents stood by me ALL the way.

    In Lompoc prison, the civilian psych agreed with my stance and said he would get me out ASAP, which was 18 months. About a month after release, I was back at UWMadison and visited by parole officer from Milwaukee, as I still had 5 years of parole. His parting words were “I don’t want so see you ever again” and he left. I have never reported for parole and that was 60+ years ago.

    Summing up these suicides are a result of the jew promotion of wars for i$rahell, the dumbing, numbing down in our education system by the N(j)ew World Order and the jew using the USA as the aggressor in the world for the last 120 plus years.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Military suicide . the soul guilt from killing another!

    Remember, we are immortal spiritual beings, prodigal souls, having a transitory human experience . in Beloveds human kindergarten . for soul evolvement . we cannot be a positive ensouled human BE ing . if we are doing harm to others . rather Meditate on the path of . Awareness . Awakening . Understanding . Compassion . Forgiveness . Unconditional Love. http://www.spiritus.com.au

    Liked by 2 people

    • “When someone says my son died fighting for his country, I say, ‘No, the suicide bomber who killed my son died fighting for his country!” ~ Father of American Soldier, Chase Beattie killed in Iraq.

      Liked by 1 person

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