Withdrawing troops from the Middle East may save them from being killed in battle, but as this new data shows, they might still pose just as much of a danger to themselves.
According to Vox, a report from the Department of Defense has revealed that, despite a decrease in deaths from enemy fire, bringing our soldiers back home from Iraq and Afghanistan has had hardly any effect on the rate of military suicides.
A total of 475 active military troops committed suicide in 2013, while just 127 were killed in combat that year, the lowest number of lives lost on the battlefield since 2008.
This report, published last week, also said that 120 soldiers took their own lives within the first four months of this year.
That’s nearly one soldier committing suicide every day.
Washington has made only feeble attempts to solve the crisis, Vox reports, as legislation directed towards military suicides hasn’t made it out of the Senate and efforts from the Defense Department have proved fruitless thus far.
A great deal of these suicides could be attributed to the fact that US soldiers are only declared suicidal by answers they give to a specific series of questions.
According to Vox, Dr. Craig Bryan, a former US Air Force psychologist and adjunct professor at the National Center for Veteran Studies, said,
Questionnaires are self-reported and when the issue carries a stigma, it’s not hard to lie.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t even keep records of the success and failure of psychological treatments, according to an investigation from the Institute of Medicine.
via Vox, Photo Credit: Getty Images