Friday, January 30, 2009

US Army Suicide Rate highest since Vietnam War

I just watched Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket on TV. It shows a marine shooting his drill sargeant and then himself. When I was in the Air Force at least one guy killed himself. That's the risk of giving weapons to young men and then giving them killer assignments in shitholes.
clipped from
Graphic shows active duty Army suicides from 1990 to 2008; 1 c x 3 7/8 in; 46.5

WASHINGTON – Suicides among U.S. soldiers rose last year to the highest level in decades, the Army announced Thursday. At least 128 soldiers killed themselves in 2008. But the final count is likely to be considerably higher because 15 more suspicious deaths are still being investigated and could also turn out to be self-inflicted, the Army said.

A new training and prevention effort will start next week. And Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatric consultant to the Army surgeon general, made a plea for more U.S. mental health professionals to sign on to work for the military.

"We need to move quickly to do everything we can to reverse this disturbing ... number," Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said.

Officials calculate the deaths at a rate of roughly 20.2 per 100,000 soldiers — which is higher than the adjusted civilian rate for the first time since the Vietnam War, officials told a Pentagon news conference.
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