Saturday, August 13, 2016

Australia Veteran Suicides This Year Equal 13 Years of War Deaths?

Families speak about military loved ones lost and how we failed them
Herald Sun
Ruth Lamperd
August 13, 2016

“The number of suicides and the incidence of despair, depression and broken lives among our veteran community is a national shame,” Retired Lieutenant General Leahy 
Jarrad Brown was in the army and deployed to Iraq in 2007-08 and Afghanistan in 2010. He took his own life in 2015, aged 27.
A SHAMEFUL number of Aussie soldiers return from war zones depressed, anxious, in despair but unable to find help.

Grieving families of war veterans who have taken their own lives say their loved ones might still be alive today if they’d received adequate support from authorities.

Thirteen families of service men and veterans have bravely spoken out to highlight the plight of military men and women at risk.

Their call for more support comes as a Sunday Herald Sun investigation reveals 41 military personnel and veterans died this year from suicide, the same as the number of Australians who were killed in Afghanistan during 13 years of war.

Each family which agreed to be part of this special report lost their sons, husbands or fathers in the past two years.

They ranged in age from 21 to 57. Most of them were in their 20s and 30s when they died.

Almost all had been deployed to overseas operations, including Iraq, East Timor, Afghanistan or served on navy ships involved in border patrol.

The concerns were backed by former Chief of Army and Soldier On chairman Peter Leahy, who said the government needed to “step up and own the problem”.
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