The figure is twenty two and it really is per day or one every sixty five minutes. That’s over eight thousand per year. It has been roughly the same over the last decade. This is astonishing because it is more than those being killed in combat – at the moment it is at least ten times the combat death level!
So what on earth is going on? Very obviously, coming home from war does not mean that a soldier’s war is over. Rather, for the individual, it can be the start of a bigger, even nastier, battle, often fought alone. In February, 2015, the USA passed the Veterans Suicide Prevention Act but it difficult to see how it will make any difference.
Many factors, of course, can induce suicide, for example, loss of a spouse or income, and the general uncertainties of returning to civilian life.