It seems that scarcely a week goes by without hearing of another Special Operations soldier that has committed suicide. This week was no different and as always it follows an all-too-familiar pattern.
A SOF soldier that has seen too many combat deployments and has resultantly suffered both physical and mental injuries, commits suicide after seemingly having turned a corner in his life. This is an issue that needs to get fixed, although the answers to this suicide pandemic are probably as varied as the veterans themselves.
Veterans suicide is a huge issue in this country. It isn’t going away and isn’t getting any better. According to recent data compiled by the Veterans Administration, between 2005 and 2017 78,875 veterans took their own lives. This is more than the number of Americans killed in every major conflict except for the Civil War and World War II.
According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, the number of veteran suicides has exceeded 6,000 every single year between 2008 and 2017. In 2017, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-veteran adults.