Demons & Dialog

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At least 128 soldiers killed themselves last year

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Suicides among soldiers in 2008 rose for the fourth year in a row, reaching the highest level in nearly three decades, Army officials said Thursday.

At least 128 soldiers killed themselves last year, and the Army suicide rate surpassed that for civilians for the first time since the Vietnam War, according to Army statistics. The suicide count, which includes soldiers in the Army Reserve and the National Guard, is expected to grow; 15 deaths are still being investigated, and the vast majority of them are expected to be ruled suicides, Army officials said.

Including the deaths being investigated, roughly 20.2 of every 100,000 soldiers killed themselves. The civilian rate for 2006, the most recent figure available, was 19.2 when adjusted to match the demographics.

“This is not business as usual,” said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the vice chief of staff of the Army, who is leading suicide-prevention efforts. “We need to move quickly to do everything we can to reverse the very disturbing number of suicides we have in the U.S. Army.”

Read more… The New York Times

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Written by Michael Cooper

January 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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