facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Military suicides increase in Alaska

Dec. 1, 2004 at 7:34 PM   |   Comments

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base has reported an increase in the number of suicides despite a decade-old program to prevent them.

The Anchorage Daily News said there have been three suicides so far this year, compared with one or none during previous years. Most at risk seem to be young men, new to Alaska, the report said.

"We are aggressively going after this, trying to do everything we can to make sure we are helping folks before the pressure builds," said Col. Michael Snodgrass, commander of Elmendorf's 3rd Wing.

Throughout the Air Force, 48 active-duty airmen had taken their own lives as of the end of November, or a rate of 14.1 per 100,000 people, the report said.

That compared with 9.2 per 100,000 for the seven years before 2004.

Air Force officials are mystified by the increase. Combat stress is not believed to be the main reason because the suicides have not occurred in a war zone.

The deaths have come at bases in the United States and overseas. The vast majority of the suicides are young, lower-ranked enlisted men, who have been in the Air Force several years.

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Stratosphere crash driver commits suicide Stratosphere crash driver commits suicide
2
U.S. intercepts two Russian fighter jets near Alaska
3
Kentucky firefighter injured in ice bucket challenge dies Kentucky firefighter injured in ice bucket challenge dies
4
New York buses will feature anti-Islam ads depicting James Foley New York buses will feature anti-Islam ads depicting James Foley
5
Sister shoots and kills brother to protect father Sister shoots and kills brother to protect father
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback