Discuss: Military suicides on pace to surpass combat deaths
Word comes from the Pentagon that July marked the worst month for Army suicides in several years. Last month, 38 soldiers killed themselves. It was the highest total since the Army started releasing figures in 2009.
If soldiers continue killing themselves at the current rate, the Army will lose about 200 active-duty troops this year, more than any year in the past decade. The Associated Press in June obtained an internal Defense Department document revealing more than154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year, though June 3. That marked the fastest pace of active-duty military suicides in the nation's decade of war.
Suicides are a growing problem in the Air Force and Marine Corps, but only the Army issues a monthly count that draws attention to its rate. The Army, substantially larger than the other armed forces, also has more people in combat.
The Army has hired hundreds of new mental health and substance abuse counselors. Fewer deployments were also seen as a way to combat the suicides. Yet suicides are on pace to outnumber the current wars' combat deaths.
Update 7:38 a.m.
Here is an AP interactive timeline and chart that shows the number of casualties in Afghanistan.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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