The suicide rate among 18- to 29-year-old men who've left the military has gone up significantly, the government said Monday.
The rate for these veterans went up 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to preliminary data from the Veterans Affairs Department. It's assumed that most of the veterans in this age group served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
If there is a bright spot in the data, it's that in 2007 veterans in the group who used VA health care were less likely to commit suicide than those who did not. That's a change from 2005.
The military in recent years has struggled as well with an increase in suicides, with the Army seeing a record number last year. While the military frequently releases such data, it has been more difficult to track suicide information on veterans once they've left active duty.
Then there are the slow suicides: addiction, homelessness, dissolved families.
Bring them home. Each and every one of them.
Update. Something I forgot to mention earlier: the caskets of military suicides do not get the flag-draped coffin treatment. They do not receive presidential messages of condolences.
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