Suicide Rates Among United States Army Soldiers Have Reached 80-Year Highs
176 active duty soldiers committed suicide in 2021, according to the combined figures from the Defense Suicide Prevention Office and a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Per Autumn Spredermann of the Epoch Times, those figures are the highest number of active Army members who have committed suicide since 1938.
Since 2015, suicide rates among members of all military branches have been climbing upwards.
These numbers look even more shocking when the time horizon is expanded to include suicide figures in the post-9/11 wars.
A Brown University study showed that 30,177 active duty members and veterans have committed suicide in that time period. Spredemann noted that “the number of soldiers actually killed in post-9/11 war operations is 7,052.”
Several experts argue that mentally and physically exhausting sectors like the military leave people more susceptible to developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
War is a traumatic and jarring experience for many. The level of death and destruction is something most people cannot handle. Most soldiers come out both physically and mentally scarred after going through the meat grinder of modern warfare.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have resulted in the deaths of 2,300 and 4,500 American troops, respectively. Not to mention the heavy civilian casualties that totaled roughly 200,000 and 46,000 in the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively.
Never-ending wars aren’t just about abstractions such as liberal democracy and human rights, they come with a very real loss of human life all around. Moreover, those who survive these conflicts come back mentally scarred, which often renders them incapable of re-integrating into normal society.
On top of that, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is notorious for not serving the interests of veterans and provides low-quality care. The US is already known for its “bowling alone” environment where civil society is increasingly dying, thus leaving countless vulnerable such as mentally scarred veterans without any form of mutual aid groups to fall back on. In such circumstances, many of these veterans descend into a life of drug use, depression, and eventual suicide.
If we want to truly serve our veterans, we must stop these misguided foreign policy adventures, drastically reform veterans care, and restore civil society. Our veterans deserve better.
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