US Army Suicides Set Grim RecordWorld | November 18, 2009, Wednesday // 10:18| views
Since January, 140 active-duty US soldiers have killed themselves while another 71 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers killed themselves in the same time period, totaling 211. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Suicides among soldiers this year have topped last year's record-breaking numbers, CNN reported, citing army officials.
Since January, 140 active-duty soldiers have killed themselves while another 71 Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers killed themselves in the same time period, totaling 211 as of Tuesday, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army vice chief of staff, told reporters at a briefing Tuesday.
But he said the monthly numbers are starting to slow down as the year nears its end.
"This is horrible, and I do not want to downplay the significance of these numbers in any way," Chiarelli said.
For all of 2008, the Army said 140 active-duty soldiers killed themselves while 57 Guard and Reserve soldiers committed suicide, totaling 197, according to Army statistics.
The Army is still trying to tackle why soldiers are killing themselves.
"We still haven't found any statistically significant causal linkage that would allow us to effectively predict human behavior. The reality is, there is no simple answer -- each suicide case is as unique as the individuals themselves," Chiarelli said.
He also said there were troubling new statistics showing an increase in suicide rates among young soldiers who have never deployed, another factor puzzling Army researchers.
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