This Veterans Day, know that the U.S. military is losing to the war called suicide
Last year, 325 active-duty troops took their own lives, a rate of 24.8 per 100,000. The civilian rate is 18 per 100,000. Crisis cries out for a fresh approach: Our view
The Editorial Board
As Americans honor veterans this holiday, it’s vital to remember the silent war being waged in homes and barracks and countless other places where soldiers, past and present, are dying by the thousands every year. They’re killing themselves in a war of self-destruction that the United States is losing.
The tide of this struggle turned years ago, after the Sept. 11 attacks, when America’s all-volunteer military — a force of fixed and limited size, unable to expand through conscription — was pressed into fighting two extended wars at once, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The resulting strain was unprecedented. Amid a daily drumbeat of news from far-flung wars, desperately personal conflicts were being fought and lost at home.
Military suicide rate vs. civilian rate
Army Sgt. Douglas Hale Jr., 26, twice a veteran of combat, bought a pawnshop pistol and killed himself in a restaurant bathroom outside Fort Hood, Texas. After five deployments, Army Maj. Troy Donn Wayman, 44, died in his Texas home. And Army Private Jeremy Johnson, 23, medically evacuated from Afghanistan, texted his mother before taking his life.