WASHINGTON - The government says the suicide rate has gone up among 18 to 29-year-old men who've left the military. According to preliminary data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the suicide rate for these veterans went up 26% from 2005-2007. It's assumed that most of the veterans in this age group served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Senator Patty Murray released a statement saying, "As we step up our efforts in Afghanistan, these numbers serve as a lesson that we must be ready with the care and resources our service members need as they deploy and that our veterans will as they transition home from the battlefield. I will continue to work with VA and Department of Defense leadership to make sure we fulfill this duty to our service members, veterans and their families."
The data also showed that while this group of veterans were more likely to kill themselves in 2005 if they were using VA healthcare, they were less likely to do so two years later. If you are a Veteran or someone you know is a Veteran who is suffering from suicidal thoughts or depression contact Dave Beebe from the Walla Walla VA Medical Center at 509-520-7945.