Army Suicides Spike in June

Hit highest point since Vietnam
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2010 7:21 AM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2010 7:50 AM CDT
Cpl. Joe Sanders, left, and Spc. Albert Godding pose for their photo at Fort Polk, La. after Godding received a Meritorious Service Medal for preventing Sanders' suicide in 2008, April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/U.S. Army, Zach Morgan)
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(Newser) – More soldiers committed suicide in June than in any single month since the Vietnam era, according to statistics released yesterday. A total of 32 killed themselves, including seven on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. It isn’t an isolated occurrence either—145 soldiers have killed themselves this year, more than half the total killed in all of 2009. And the Army tells CNN that it’s not entirely sure why this is happening.

“There were no trends to any one unit, camp, post or station,” said Chris Philbrick, head of the Army’s suicide prevention taskforce. “I have no silver bullet answer.” To help, the taskforce has released a suicide prevention video, titled “Shoulder to Shoulder: I Will Never Quit.” There was a similar video made last year, but it “sucked,” says Philbrick. It was made with actors, and the troops openly laughed at it. “This video has all real soldiers with real stories.” (Read more suicide stories.)

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