Suicides up in Guard and Reserves

Jan. 19, 2011 at 10:33 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A big jump in suicides among reservists and National Guard members in 2010 drove suicides up in the Army, U.S. military officials said Wednesday.

There were 156 suicides in the regular Army in 2010, down from 162 in 2009, senior Army officials said. While the decline was small, it was the first in six years, The Washington Post reported.

It was outweighed by a large increase in suicides in the active-duty Guard and Reserves. There were 145 in 2010 -- up from 80 in 2009.

About half of those in the Guard and Reserves who took their lives had not been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, while two-thirds of those in the regular Army had either been deployed or were in the middle of a deployment.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff for the Army, said there will be fewer suicides as the time between deployments becomes longer. Officials say most soldiers will get at least two years between tours in Iraq or Afghanistan by the end of 2011.

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