Military Suicides Jump

As many, if not more lost to suicide than combat
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2011 4:15 PM CST
Troops Suicides Increase
U.S. soldiers walk past the scattered parts of a vehicle used in an explosion on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Nov. 12, 2010.   (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Admiral Mike Mullen's ominous prediction of a continuing rash of military suicides looks to be spot on—though suicides in 2010 didn't surpass combat deaths as they did in 2009, they did significantly jump, from 381 to 434, reports. But that combined tally of 434 is also a conservative figure, including only active-duty personnel, and not reservists who kill themselves while awaiting redeployment. When reservists are added in, the toll goes to at least 468—and then passes the year's 462 combat deaths.

And the figure is actually higher, as members of a 123,000-strong group called the Individual Ready Reserve are excluded from the total. So are veterans who kill themselves after leaving the armed forces—though in many cases the mental and physical suffering they have endured at war is a powerful contributor to their decision to take their own lives.
(Read more US military stories.)

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