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A recent news article reported that the number of soldiers who took their own lives while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan rose in 2005 over the previous year, as the U.S. Army experienced its highest suicide rate since 1999.

The Army released statistics showing that 12.9 per 100,000 U.S. soldiers committed suicide in 2005, up from 11.0 per 100,000 in 2004. The 2005 suicide rate was the highest for the Army since 13.1 per 100,000 in 1999.

The suicide rate in the general population is reported as being 19.8 per 100,000.

Last year, 83 Army soldiers on active duty committed suicide, 25 while deployed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Army said. In 2004, 67 soldiers on active duty committed suicide, 14 while deployed for those wars, the Army said.

The pentagon noted that last year's total for suicides in Iraq and Afghanistan was identical to the number who killed themselves while serving in the two wars in 2003. A total of 76 U.S. soldiers committed suicide in 2003, including 25 deployed in those wars.

The Army says it was not aware of any single reason for the rise last year, adding that a range of factors can include financial reasons, failed relationships, drugs and alcohol.

"In some cases it may be due to combat stress, but that's not the bottom line. It may accentuate the reason why they commit suicide if it happens in a combat environment," a spokesman said.

The Army also said over the past two years it has increased the number of behavioral health experts deployed with soldiers in an effort to prevent suicides.


What might be some causative factors that would contribute to this apparent rise in military suicides?


Are you in contact with her to encourage her to seek counseling. The armed forces provide in sight suppport counselors for people who feel overwhelmed by the circumstances around them while on the battlefield, according to published reports.

What has been your experience with the support available to service women and men?
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