Suicides of those serving in the military have drastically arisen for active military as well as older veterans and those in the prime of their lives. Reports reveal about 8,000 veterans committed suicide each year. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 350 active duty members of the military committed suicide in 2012, this is a record high. This number is not firm because some states did not report military suicides since military status is not listed on the death certificate. Also, some deaths were not reported because of the stigma involved with suicide. In a Forbes report for every veteran killed by the enemy in combat 25 veterans kill themselves. This number could be even higher now based on newer data.
Suicide is not new to members of the military. Historically, military members would commit suicide when losing a battle to avoid capture, torture, enslavement or mutilation. In World War II some Japanese military would fight to the last man or committed seppuku, a samurai suicide. In modern times, Islamic militants may commit an Islamic martyrdom death act. But today it is not clear why members of the military are committing suicide both active and veterans.
Some common factors for military suicides might be drug and alcohol use, romantic relationship problems, financial difficulties, physical injuries such as multiple concussions, mental illness such as PTSD or upcoming deployments. Although President Obama signed an order in August to increase the capacity for the military crisis line due to a military suicide epidemic. As well, the government have put a great deal of money into programs and trainings for suicide prevention it does not seem to be helping.
What does seem to help reported by the Huffington Post is to have a safety plan. The plan would include a person or a number of people that the military active or vet can call or go to at any point during times of stress or crisis. This would include talk or sometimes a trip to a mental health agency if needed. This is what helped Sgt. Major Joseph Sanders.