Suicide rate for veterans on the rise

Nov 7, 2013, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

Thousands of American veterans have taken their own lives, and one expert says the U.S. government is at least partly to blame.

Government data says that the suicide rate for veterans jumped 2.6 percent each year from 2005 to 2011. One out of every five U.S. suicides involves a veteran.

A 2012 Veterans Affairs study revealed that 8,000 veterans commit suicide every year, which equates to about 22 suicides per day.

“Veterans Today” Senior Editor Gordon Duff said part of the reason is that today’s volunteer military attracts people with a lower socioeconomic background who are feeling the strains of military life.

“We’re sending them to war year after year after year, while their families fall apart and their jobs go away,” said Duff.

Duff said that many veterans live in hopelessness with no feeling of community. He said the U.S. government is not doing enough to stop veterans from killing themselves.

“It [suicide] is accepted. For the most part, we simply turn away and let it happen,” he said.

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Suicide rate for veterans on the rise