U.S. Army reports hike in troop suicides

Sept. 10, 2008 at 10:03 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Army officials are citing anxiety and stress caused by repeated deployments for an increase in the rate of suicide among active duty soldiers.

For the first time since the Vietnam War, the Army says the number of soldiers who take their own lives is on track to surpass the rate of suicide among the general U.S. population, CNN reported Wednesday.

Figures supplied by the U.S. Army indicate 115 soldiers committed suicide last year. By August of this year, the army said it recorded 62 suicides among active-duty solders and was investigating another 31 deaths as possible suicides.

Army officials say at the current pace the rate of active-duty suicides is on track to surpass both last year's total and the nation's suicide rate of 19.5 per 100,000 people.

"Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increase distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families," says Army Secretary Pete Geren.

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