Soldier Suicides Hit Highest Rate

Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a doctor in the Office of the Army Surgeon General, discusses efforts to study and understand suicide among American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, Thursday, May 29, 2008, during a news conference at the Pentagon.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

AP: Army soldiers committed suicide in 2007 at the highest rate on record, and the toll is climbing ever higher this year as long war deployments stretch on.

At least 115 soldiers killed themselves last year, up from 102 the previous year, the Army said Thursday.

Nearly a third of them died at the battlefront — 32 in Iraq and four in Afghanistan. But 26 percent had never deployed to either conflict.

“We see a lot of things that are going on in the war which do contribute — mainly the longtime and multiple deployments away from home, exposure to really terrifying and horrifying things, the easy availability of loaded weapons and a force that’s very, very busy right now,” said Col. Elspeth Ritchie psychiatric consultant to the Army surgeon general.

“And so all of those together we think are part of what may contribute, especially if somebody’s having difficulties already,” she told a Pentagon news conference.

  1. my heart goes out to those men and women fighting for our country, and so needlessly suffering, and dying for a cause based entirely on lies and deceit. our world rep has sufferred inordinately and mccain just wants to continue. he’ll “never surrender” i guess until every last soldier is mained physically or mentally.


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