New data released by the VA yesterday shows that the suicide rate among male veterans under the age of thirty increased by 44% between 2009 and 2011, while the suicide rate among veterans over thirty decreased slightly. The suicide rate among female veterans increased 11% over the same period.
On average, twenty-two veterans take their lives each day, of whom two are under the age of thirty.
It’s no wonder given an operational strategy that sends men and women to war on repeat tours together with a culture (both in and outside of the military) that stigmatizes mental illness.
These wars are an abstraction to most of us but not to the hundreds of thousands of American veterans who continue to struggle years after coming home from war.