Yesterday, there was grim news from the Pentagon; not the announcement of another troop loss in Afghanistan, but the news that 349 service members had died from their own hand in 2012.
Every month, the Department of Defense publishes a somewhat ambiguous report of confirmed, unconfirmed and under investigation non-combat deaths.
There was no ambiguity with the statistics from last year. The recorded number of confirmed suicides is the highest since the Pentagon began compiling statistics in 2001. Suicides have increased for all branches of the military.
The Army takes the lead in the sad numbers, with suicides and probable suicides at 182. That number is an increase of 16 soldiers from the previous year.
The Department of the Navy lists 60 suicides for 2012, up from 52 the previous year.
The Air Force reported 59 suicides for 2012, up from 51 in 2011, and the Marines listed 48 suicides, up from the previous year at 32.
There were no statistics listed for members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Buddy systems, 24-hour manned hotlines, guardians, public service announcements; nothing has slowed the increase in suicide deaths for troops. With the newly released numbers, a new program is likely to be developed and implemented by the Pentagon within weeks.
Examiner’s Note: Traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, domestic issues, substance abuse and finances, along with access to lethal weapons too often makes for a deadly combination for warriors who seek a permanent solution, to what is so often, a temporary problem.
If you know a warrior who is in emotional crisis and could be at risk, across the branches, the hotline number is 1-800-273 TALK (1-800-273-8255).
The National Military Examiner publishes military and military-related content from around the world that often misses mainstream media, including all troop losses. More related articles here on Facebook. "Like" the page for feeds on Facebook.
Use the SUBSCRIBE icon on this page for instant updates.