On January 13, 2013, the Department of Defense released the military’s suicide statistics for 2012, and the numbers only confirm what the individual months had been predicting throughout the year: the suicide rate among military personnel is skyrocketing. Three hundred and forty-nine United States soldiers committed suicide after returning from combat last year. That is almost one soldier, each and every day, killing his or herself because of stresses that have become too much for many to endure.
While as sad and shocking as these statistics may be, this epidemic is actually far worse as there is a significant aspect which is not being reported. The official number only includes active military personnel. After a veteran separates from the military, there are no methods of tracking a subsequent suicide. If a soldier comes home from war, exits the military, and suffers in silence before taking his own life, he will never be documented in any military-related statistical data. Are you ready for a painful dose of reality?