Suicide rate up among soldiers

The US army said Thursday that at least 99 soldiers committed suicide in 2006, nearly a third while in Iraq or Afghanistan, signaling a rising suicide rate compared to previous years.

The army also recorded 948 serious suicide attempts which required hospitalization or evacuation as well as two deaths with unclear causes still under investigation.

Among soldiers who killed themselves in 2006, 27 were in Iraq and three were in Afghanistan. The army also reported 44 suicides in the first six months of 2007, 17 among soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The suicide rate among active service members was 17.3 per 100,000 in 2006, compared to 12.8 in 2005 and 10.8 in 2004. In 2001 the rate was 9.8 per 100,000.

The figures showed a higher rate of suicide than found in the general population of people aged 17-45, which is 13.4 per 100,000.

The army said in its report that it had found no correlation between sending soldiers on missions and suicide rates. The study authors said personal and marital relationship problems, which are often aggravated by soldiers’ absences, remained the primary motivation for the suicides.


  1. bryan mcclellan

    My soul cries out for respite,yet I find no solace.I witnessed suicide by Frag in R.V.N. Later in life I lost a beloved family member to a self inflicted shotgun blast.If they only knew the pain they have left behind .Still I can reason not the cause other than they were hurt and had nowhere to turn for trusted help.What can be done for one who is wounded in the mind without inflicting further damage I know not.I remain here,as my heart,like George Harrisons guitar, gently weeps. Pray mightily for our troops!

  2. Abdul of the Kyber Pass

    Soldiers do not represent the general population as they are 90% young men. Young men are overrepresented in suicide statistics. This is sad, but statistically minor.

  3. Abdul of the Kyber Pass

    Gandhi was brilliant and that quote shows just how brilliant. He knew what he was talking about. He served on an ambulance crew in WWI. BTW, white South Africans had the highest death rate of all of the countries who were either part of the Commonwealth or the Empire. South Africans of colour served with distinction in the front lines.

    BTW, if you ever go to NYC, go find Gandhi’s statue on the edge of Washington Park. It’s a nice setting and an appropriate tribute.

  4. JudyB

    These too are casualties of war. A human mind can suffer injuries that cannot be seen on x-rays. These injuries can occur when troops are in a battle zone, away from loved ones for long periods, while having to witness killing and mayhem daily. Just knowing ones family may be enduring hardships because of your absence could play havoc with ones mental state. Wars have always been deadly events, its always been that way, but sadly, the deaths & injuries that wars are resposible for, quite often occur far from the battle field and unfortunately, are never counted as official casualties.

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the
    orphans and the homeless, whether the mad
    destruction of war is wrought under the name of
    totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or
    democracy?” Mahatma Gandhi