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Going through the Aussie news on Yahoo and found this,although it is "old" news related to wars;

Hundreds of American troops have come home from the Iraq war, left the military and committed suicide.

That is the finding of preliminary Veterans Affairs Department research that provides the first quantitative look at the suicide toll on today's combat veterans.

The continuing research reveals that at least 283 combat veterans who left the military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, and the end of 2005 killed themselves.

The numbers, while not dramatically different from society as a whole, are reminiscent of the increased suicide risk among returning soldiers in the Vietnam War era.

The home-front suicide tally is running at least double the number of troop suicides in the war zones as thousands of men and women return with disabling injuries and mental health disorders that put them at higher risk.

A total of 147 troops have killed themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start of the wars, according to the Defence Manpower Data Centre, which tracks casualties for the Pentagon.

Add the number of returning veterans and the finding is that at least 430 of the 1.5 million troops who have fought in the two wars have killed themselves over the past six years. And that doesn't include people who committed suicide after their combat tours and while still in the military - a number the Pentagon says it doesn't track.

That compares with at least 4,227 US military deaths overall since the wars started - 3,840 in Iraq and 387 in and around Afghanistan.

In response, the VA is ramping up suicide prevention programs.

Research suggests that combat trauma increases the risk of suicide, according to the National Centre for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Difficulty dealing with failed relationships, financial and legal troubles and substance abuse also are risk factors among troops, said Cynthia O Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Families see the effects first hand.

"None of them come back without being touched a little," said Mary Gallagher, a mother of three whose husband, Marine Gunnery Sgt James Gallagher, took his own life in 2006 inside their home at Camp Pendleton, California.

He was proud of his Iraq service, but she wonders whether he was bothered by the death of his captain in Iraq or an incident in which he helped rescue a soldier who was in a fire and later died. Shortly before his death, her husband was distraught over an assignment change he saw as an insult, she said.

"His death contradicts the very person he was. It's very confusing and difficult to understand," said Gallagher.

The family of another Iraq veteran who committed suicide, Jeffrey Lucey, 23, from Massachusetts, filed suit against the former VA secretary, alleging that bad care at the VA was to blame.

And the family of Joshua Omvig, a 22-year-old Iraq war veteran from Iowa, who also committed suicide, successfully pushed Congress to pass a bill that President George W Bush is expected to sign that requires the VA to improve suicide prevention care.

Suicides in Iraq have occurred since the early days of the war, but awareness was heightened when the Army said its suicide rate in 2006 rose to 17.3 per 100,000 troops - the highest in 26 years of record-keeping.

That compares with 9.3 per 100,000 for all military services combined in 2006 and 11.1 per 100,000 for the general US population in 2004, the latest year for which statistics were available. The Army has said the civilian rate for the same age and gender mix as in the Army is 19 to 20 per 100,000 people.

Just looking at the VA's early numbers, Dr Ira Katz, the VA's deputy chief patient care service officer for mental health, said there does not appear to be an epidemic of suicides among those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who left the military.

Katz said post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and problem drinking increase a person's suicide risk by two or three times, but the rate of suicide among those with those conditions "is still very, very low."

Katz acknowledged, however, that it is too early to know the long-term ramifications for those who served in the wars and said the VA "is very intensely involved in increasing suicide prevention."

"We're not doing it because there's an epidemic in returning veterans, though each death of a returning veteran is a tragedy and it's important to prevent it," Katz said
 

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Grid Marshall. ,
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I was just going to mention, before I read it in the article itself, that in general the population as a whole's suicide rate is not much different than that of veterans. It's a sad fact that a certain percentage of people just can't deal emotionally with their respective problems and issues.:(
 

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I'm always learning......
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The high level of vitriol from a large segment of the population towards the military doesn't help.:2cents:
 

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Irony helps us play!
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Being told by the Govt that they have to just suck it up and get over it when they get back really helps too.

The amount of rule re-writing at the VA that went on over the past 5 years to eliminate large segments of coverage that most returning should have normally qualified for is shocking, depressing and pathetic.
 

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Being told by the Govt that they have to just suck it up and get over it when they get back really helps too.

The amount of rule re-writing at the VA that went on over the past 5 years to eliminate large segments of coverage that most returning should have normally qualified for is shocking, depressing and pathetic.
+1. Yep. And don't forget the huge cuts in funding Bush made. I remember my paycheck going up when he took office in 2001, but when I got out I remember getting a letter saying I wouldn't get VA healthcare.
 

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Old Squid on a Blade
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The high level of vitriol from a large segment of the population towards the military doesn't help.:2cents:
I don't get that? Generally, I've seen nothing but large levels of support for our Vets. It can be better, but it is perhaps the most I've seen in my life. I'm sure there are exceptions. The biggest lack of support seems to come from this administration and the VA. From an employer and social aspect, I've seen overwhelming support. I know that I go out of my way to hire Vets before others and I know other small business owners do that to. Frankly, not only is it a good thing to do, but it is self serving. The Vets I've hired are great workers and employees. From a social standpoint, just look at this board. Show me one thread where there isn't overwhelming support for our troops. If there is one where someone posted "bad" stuff, I guarantee he got hammered. This is nothing like what was going on post Nam. That sucked.

In a way, I'm shocked the suicide levels are as low as they are. This conflict is very intense and draining. I'm sure I'd be messed for a while if I did multiple tours. Maybe the support at home helps.
 

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You got the talkin' done
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Good thread. This is a very important issue. However, I don't think we will see the true impact until later.
 
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