Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Military Suicide

Segment worth viewing from Sunday's 60 Minutes:

The Life and Death of Clay Hunt


"Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone.

The 28-year-old former Marine corporal earned a Purple Heart after taking a sniper's bullet in his left wrist. He returned to combat in Afghanistan. Upon his return home, he lobbied for veterans on Capitol Hill, road-biked with wounded veterans and performed humanitarian work in Haiti and Chile.

Then, on March 31, Hunt bolted himself in his Houston apartment and shot himself.

Friends and family say he was wracked with survivor's guilt, depression and other emotional struggles after combat.

Hunt's death has shaken many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those who knew him wonder why someone who seemed to be doing all the right things to deal with combat-related issues is now dead."

[Huffington Post, 04/16/2011]

 
 
 
From Forbes (emphases added):
 
"Almost once an hour – every 65 minutes to be precise – a military veteran commits suicide, says a new investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs. By far the most extensive study of veteran suicides ever conducted, the report, issued Friday, examined suicide data from 1999 to 2010.

The data was then compared with a previous investigation – primarily an estimation – that had been conducted over the same time period, and had found a suicide rate of 18 per day.

Many of these suicides involve older veterans; 69 percent of the suicides recorded were by veterans age 50 and older. But another way to look at this is that 31 percent of these suicides were by veterans 49 and younger. In other words,by men in the prime of life.

And then there are the shockingly common active duty suicides. Just two weeks ago, the military released data showing that suicides among those on active duty hit a record high in 2012. There were 349 suicides among active duty personnel – almost one a day. That means there are now more suicides among active duty soldiers than there are combat deaths."



Immediate help is available at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net or by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.

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