The latest and most up-to-date VA report says that 20 veterans will commit suicide a day.
The latest DoD Suicide Event Report says that one service member will commit suicide and 3 more will attempt suicide every day.
That’s right, approximately 20 veterans die by suicide every single day while one active service member dies every single day. When suicide rates are compared from civilians to military members to veterans, the suicide rate for veterans are substantially higher. Check out this graph:
I hope this Memorial Day Americans realize the fact that this country has been at war for over 15 years… Straight. Every day. Suicide rates are going to continue and nobody in the upper chambers of government are mentioning the end of war. We’ve been in the perpetual state of war and suicide is one of the consequences.
How many more lives until we say enough is enough? Since the so called War on Terror began in 2001, suicide rates within military ranks and veterans have increased to the point that they now outnumber combat deaths. That means more troops die by their own hands than by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Al-Shabaab, and Boko Haram combined. Here are the total number of combat deaths since 2001, as of May 25th, 2017.
Its common to see Americans whip out their rusty BBQ grills and overcook massive amounts of food every Memorial Day Weekend without batting an eye to our fallen troops. And when people do memorialize our troops, they forget the largest killer of all, suicide. The S word seems to be a dirty word in America, but if we ever want to face the truth of the situation we have to come to terms with the fact that war always comes back and bites us in the ass. We never wage war against just our enemies, when we wage war we ultimately wage war on ourselves. War is the most costly method of solving problems (which it doesn’t really solve any). It ends life, costs massive amounts of resources, and destroys the environment. As the organization Veterans For Peace UK says, “War is not the solution to the problems we face in the 21st century“.
One way of remembering our fallen troops to suicide is to learn and educate yourself about the truth of the situation. For the past few weeks, I’ve been digging through every piece of military/veteran suicide data I can find online. I found a lot. The reason was to make a video explaining veteran suicides, but in order to put it in context I had to compare it to military and civilian suicides. With all the information I’ve collected, I created a 10 minute video that should put everything into perspective. So I ask you on this Memorial Day to take 10 mins of your time to learn about the largest killer in the military: suicides. Its the least we can do.