Showing posts with label military suicides. Show all posts
Showing posts with label military suicides. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Canada" “Our (PTSD suffering) soldiers are chastised, treated like lepers.”

Canada treats veterans poorly, Fredericton doctor tells Desmond inquiry

Chronicle Herald
Aaron Beswick
Published: 6 hours ago
Smith filled out the form. Eleven months later, Desmond would use his licence to kill Shanna, his daughter Aaliyah and mother Brenda before shooting himself.

GUYSBOROUGH, N.S. — A Fredericton family doctor who works with many veterans took a harsh view of how Canada treats soldiers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Shanna and Lionel Desmond hold their daughter Aaliyah in this photo from Shanna Desmond’s Facebook page.
“Our (PTSD suffering) soldiers are chastised, treated like lepers,” Dr. Paul Smith told the Desmond Fatality Inquiry on Monday.

“It’s all about pills and psychotherapy. It’s pathetic. There’s nothing about developing relationships, which (are) what makes the world happen.”

Lionel Desmond appeared at Smith’s office in July 2015.

He’d just been discharged from the military, his marriage was on the rocks and money was short.

Diagnosed in 2011 with PTSD and suspected brain damage from concussions during a tour on the frontlines of Afghanistan in 2007, Desmond had already been prescribed antidepressants and drugs to help him sleep.
read it here

Sunday, February 16, 2020

"For every completed suicide there are 10 others" so why support making more aware of them?

Is your group doing more harm than good?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 15, 2020

When veterans decide to take their own lives, there is a much bigger problem this country has, than most are aware off. There was a time when it was necessary to put all the reports together so that people would do something about it. That time arrived on Wounded Times in 2007. Why isn't the press on suicide watch was viewed over 9,000 times.

I discovered the reports searching for them to do a video on suicides. Before that, it was a topic in the Veterans' Community, but we spoke about it too quietly. Many of us lost parents, as well as other family members, but we thought it was something to be ashamed of, instead of something that needed to be shouted so that everyone could hear us.

Putting together the report and the video, ripped me apart because I knew what that pain felt like. My husband's nephew, also a Vietnam veteran, took his own life. I also know what it is like when they hear there is an alternative to taking your own life with #TakeBackYourLife.

The time to invest in awareness efforts came soon afterwards, when the American people stood up and demanded the government take action. Since then, billions have been spent on some things that are worth every dime. Unfortunately, even more has been spent by the government that are far from worthy of the loss of one single veteran's life. In the process, we managed to also ignore the families, like mine, left behind to deal with unanswerable questions.

How we arrived here is no mystery. Some just decided they had to do something but did not take it seriously enough to know what they were talking about.

In this report Chaplain to veterans hopes new initiative will help stop veteran suicide out of Australia, you can see how suicide awareness groups can actually make it worse for those struggling.
CATHOLICS leading the battle against veteran suicide have welcomed the appointment of an independent commissioner to investigate deaths and make recommendations on metal health and wellbeing.

Deacon Gary Stone, the man known as the Veteran’s padre, “hopes and prays” a new government initiative will combat veteran suicide, and benefit the wider community.

“Every suicide seriously impacts families and friends who also need support,” Deacon Stone (pictured), who heads the Veterans Care Association and is a former infantry officer, said.

“For every completed suicide there are 10 others (and their associated families and friends) struggling with suicidal ideation and self-harm.”

What do we see all over social media? Talk about a number attached to veterans committing suicide. We see members of the military, veterans groups, police officers, firefighters and regular citizens, dropping down to do 22 pushups. We see them running, walking and all kinds of other stunts to raise money while claiming they are raising awareness that veterans are killing themselves.

What is the point of all this? Did anyone of them think that their peers are also among those committing suicide and it is not just veterans?

The CDC released a report last year stating, "After a stable period from 2000 to 2007, suicide rates for persons aged 10–24 increased from 2007 to 2017..."

In another report from the CDC, "Suicide is a large and growing public health problem. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for more than 47,000 deaths in 2017, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes. Every year, many more people think about or attempt suicide than die by suicide. In 2017, 10.6 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million made a plan, and 1.4 million attempted suicide."

Tens of thousands of groups have been doing it for over a decade and the trend is growing. What causes most advocates to cringe, aside from the obvious, is there seems to no end to the flood of people making money off this, and no end to the heartache of veterans doing it.

The groups usually use names they think will attract the most attention.

Back in 2015, NPR did a report on how The Number 22: Is There A 'False Narrative' For Vet Suicide? They interviewed Keith Jennings for his input. The problem is, they did not fact check what he said.
"That number, if we talk about it out of context, it's questionable," Keith Jennings, Iraq combat veteran and clinical psychologist, says. He acts as chief science adviser for a North Carolina-based group called
There is a problem with the name itself. Stop "Soldier" Suicide, used in context, would mean that they are trying to stop soldiers from committing suicide, not all of the services, and certainly not talking about veterans.

At the time NPR produced this article, the DOD report shows clearly that the following statement is also wrong.
So Smolenski and a team, in a study released this year, dug deeper. They found that vets who had served during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars commit suicide at a rate of about one a day — not 22.
The average of suicides within the military has been 500 a year since 2012. (Add in Active Components with Reserve totals.) Is that what the "team" looked at?

It would make sense however, aside from that, had they really "dug deeper" they would have discovered how many were not included in any of the reports from the DOD or the VA.

If you read Wounded Times, you have seen all the data and links. It is up to them to go and find them, but much like years ago, I offered to help them change the outcome, they were not interested in facts.

22Kill has been studied since they started. "In 2012, the Veterans’ Administration (VA) released a Suicide Data Report that found an average of 22 veterans die by suicide everyday. The 22KILL initiative started in 2013, at first just as a social media movement to raise awareness, and later became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in July of 2015." But had they spent enough time to even read the report? If they had, they would have noticed the number was an average from limited data collected from just 21 states. They would have seen that the majority of veterans in the report, were over the age of 50.

Had they invested time and energy to discover what had been done before the topic struck them?

While the conclusion is, much like this from Task and Purpose, "Likewise, awareness doesn’t do much. You can know a problem exists. That doesn’t mean you are any closer to solving the problem. There are a lot of diseases and societal issues with different color ribbons and special days for awareness, but not a lot of solutions. Veterans dying by suicide has been all over the news since the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal broke in April 2014."

Wounded Times has been covering veteran suicides since 2007, right after it started...and lost money every year since the work of changing the outcome matters a hell of a lot more than anything else. Before the move from Florida to New Hampshire, average page views were over 1,000 a day. Right now, after trying to rebuild from a two month break, it is about 600 a day.

As you can see, over 4 million since August of 2007.

Stop Soldier Suicides says, since they started they served 1,000+ has managed to take in over $3 million in 2018, but they are hardly the largest group.

So where exactly is your money going? Find something that will actually make a difference, like taking the time to know about the topic before you share the stunt. Make sure that what you read, is actually the truth, instead of words that stick in your brain. Until we start using words that change the outcome, we will keep contributing to it.

If you have a group that has been raising awareness, it is time to change the subject and earn the money by helping them stay alive!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Demand facts so that real solutions will be known to those we want to save

Beware of Awareness

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 12, 2020

There was a time when everyone was made aware, the earth was flat. They believed it until they were made aware, the earth was actually round. Until common sense took over, they hated those who were telling them the truth.
The speakers of the truth had to prove what the truth was, until the others became aware they were wrong all along.

That is exactly what has been happening for far too long in this country. The topic this time is suicide awareness being raised while veterans, members of the military, first responders and regular citizens fall off because no one told them the truth...that they could heal.

Speaking the truth about this has created the same conditions for the truth tellers to be hated. If you among those trying to make others beware of awareness, here is proof that you are right, and they are wrong.

We have the press to blame when they do not report the whole truth because they do not know enough to check the facts before they publish news reports. When the Department of Defense began resiliency training, it was a predictable outcome, but reporters continually failed to link it to the increase of servicemembers committing suicide, while in the military, as well as suicides within the Veterans' Community.

The headline from NBC News is "Air Force suicides surged last year to highest in 3 decades" It contained, "According to preliminary figures, the Air Force had 84 suicides among active-duty members last year, up from 60 the year before."

What made this report worse is that the reduction in military personnel went down over those decades when NBC inserted this, "...even as the other military services saw their numbers stabilize or decline, according to officials and unpublished preliminary data."

Suicide Awareness failure was made clearer when Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly pointed to “Suicide is a difficult national problem without easily identifiable solutions that has the full attention of leadership.”

Why? Primarily because civilians did not receive billions of dollars in training to prevent them from happening.

Civilians do suffer from mental illnesses and according the the Sidran Institute "...more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given time." but do not subject themselves to traumatic events continually. That report is a few years old but more recent ones have a different story.

The Recovery Village states "Statistics on the prevalence of PTSD in the United States vary depending on the specific group or population being studied. Overall, PTSD affects around 3.5% of the U.S. population, approximately 8 million Americans, in a given year." within an article published in January of 2020. So which one is right? Have any reporters contacted the Sidran Institute or any of the others for clarification?

Those who select jobs, putting themselves in danger to save others, should never be linked to all others.

Why? Because they value the lives of others so much so, they were willing to sacrifice their own lives to save someone else. They are not only trained to do their jobs,  billions of dollars have been spent to  supposedly "train them" to recover from their jobs.

Have any reporters asked about all that? No.

They have not linked in the fact that the Suicide Prevention Hotline from the Veterans Administration, has "Since late 2018, VA screened more than 4 million Veterans. Crisis Line is taking more than 1,700 calls each day, and VA takes emergency action on about 100 of those calls." Still this gets worse when you are aware of how long this had been in operation. This was released in 2018, by the American Physiological Association. "Launched in 2007, the service has more than 500 phone responders, who to date have answered over 3.5 million calls and sent emergency services to more than 93,000 people. The Crisis Line expanded to add an anonymous chat service in 2009 and text messaging in 2011."

They have not reported that as the number of groups raising awareness that veterans were committing suicide, all this, and more, was happening masquerading as helpful efforts to make people aware, of things they did not know.

Suicide Awareness does not work but, those speaking the truth, must never give up on making people beware of what others want them to pay attention to. The subject of those willing to risk their lives to save others, demand facts so that real solutions will be known to those we want to save.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Marine Corps suicides down for 2019...up for Navy

Marine Corps Suicide Rate Declines, Navy Rate Rises in 2019

By: Ben Werner
February 6, 2020

In 2019, 47 active-duty Marines committed suicide – 11 fewer than in 2018 – while the Navy reported 72 suicides, four more than a year earlier, according to preliminary totals from both services.
The Marine Corps suicide rate for the calendar year 2019 was 25.3 per 100,000 active-duty Marines, a decrease from the rate of 30.7 per 100,000 active-duty Marines in 2018.

“The Marine Corps is committed to reducing the number of suicides and continues to encourage unit leaders to have open dialogue with their Marines about stress, resiliency, mental wellness and suicide,” Maj. Craig Thomas, a spokesperson for Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, wrote in an email to USNI News.

“When leaders and mental health programs and resources acknowledge that ‘everybody struggles with life, trauma, shame, guilt and uncertainty,’ it helps make asking for assistance more acceptable,” Thomas said.

In 2019, the Navy’s active-duty suicide rate increased to 22.3 per 100,000 active-duty personnel, from the 2018 suicide rate of 20.1 per 100,000 active duty service members.
read it here

Air Force Suicides increased

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Tyler Reeb: "his courage and strength should inspire us to do better"

How many veterans do we have to lose before we actually do better?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
February 4, 2020

Why do I still believe we will do the right thing to stop men and women, who risked their lives to save others, will finally risk their pride to save themselves? Because I have seen it happen too often to dismiss what is possible.

Air Force Suicides went up last year. "The U.S. Air Force says 137 airmen across the active duty, Guard and Reserve died by suicide in 2019, a 33% increase over the previous year." The annual report released last year for 2018, showed that suicides have gone up to the highest on record.
Col. Michael A. Miller, commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, reportedly commented that "killing yourself is a chickenshit way to go" during a 1.2 mile "resiliency day" run with personnel...
The problem is, leaders like him are part of the problem itself! "Marine colonel calls suicide ‘shameful,' cites ‘godless age’ and calls on Marines to ‘read some scripture’"
Since the start of Gen. Robert Neller’s tenure as commandant in 2015, nearly 224 Marines have ended their own lives. That’s more Marines than an entire rifle company, he noted in a recent two-page letter on mental wellness.

In 2018, 354 active and reserve Marines attempted suicide, and 77 Marines died, numbers that are greater, Neller wrote “than any previous year recorded."

In his letter to the entire Corps, posted via Twitter in May, Neller called on Marines to address “collective mental wellness," spiritual fitness and to seek help to combat the suicide epidemic across the Corps.
Those messages have been delivered at the same time the Department of Defense has been publicly saying the troops need to seek help without fear.... and kicking out far too many who needed help, the wrong message has gotten through.

But they are not alone with that type of thinking. It has been happening for decades because "leaders" refuse to learn about what PTSD is and what it does. They cannot accept that the men and women they command valued the lives of others so much so, they were willing to die for their sake, but could not risk their pride to admit they needed help to stay alive. These "leaders" cannot even recognized they have supported silence instead of encouraging service members to #BreakTheSilence so they can heal the wound of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

We should know the end of this month how many were discharged without honoring their service.
Now, according to court documents, the timeline for the documents to again be visible is clear: at least 90 percent of the pre-April 2019 Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard decisions will be reposted on the website by Jan. 31, as will all Army decisions from 2009 to April 2019. By Feb. 14, the remaining Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard decisions will be reposted, and by Feb. 28, all Army decisions prior to 2009 will be reposted.

And by March 31, the services, including the Coast Guard, will repost all decisions through Dec. 31, 2019.

But I do still believe that one day, we will arrive at a time and place where no one will ever be ashamed of PTSD, especially when it was caused by their heroism. I believe because of these leaders.

Commandant Gen. Robert Neller
"Marines are in a fight to save their fellow comrades, and they must approach that fight with the same intensity they apply to other battles," he added. In the nearly four years Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has led the Marine Corps, the service has lost a rifle company-worth of Marines to suicide, and he says it's time to have a frank conversation about what's causing that.
"Let me be clear up front, there is zero shame in admitting one's struggles in life -- trauma, shame, guilt or uncertainty about the future -- and asking for help," he said in a two-page letter about mental illness addressed to Marines, sailors and their families.

Blumenthal to bring uncle of Marine who committed suicide to State of the Union

The Day
By Julia Bergman Day staff writer
February 03. 2020
"Our nation has abjectly failed to provide the care our heroes need to fight these invisible wounds — mental health services to diagnose and treat them effectively. The loss of Tyler Reeb as well as his courage and strength should inspire us to do better." U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal
The uncle of a Marine Staff Sergeant Tyler Reeb, who died by suicide last fall October following multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, will be the guest of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Tyler Reeb, a decorated Marine Corps sniper who grew up in New Canaan, died in October. He led more than 100 combat missions against the Taliban, according to a news release from Blumenthal's office. His uncle, Christopher Reeb of Weston, will represent the family at the State of the Union.

"Our nation has abjectly failed to provide the care our heroes need to fight these invisible wounds — mental health services to diagnose and treat them effectively," Blumenthal said in a statement. "The loss of Tyler Reeb as well as his courage and strength should inspire us to do better."

Last week, the U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee approved legislation, authored by Blumenthal, that would establish targets to evaluate the efficacy of the VA's mental health and suicide prevention outreach campaigns and would create a process to oversee these campaigns.

The proposal adopts several recommendations from a Government Accountability Office report publicly released in December 2018, which found the VA's suicide prevention outreach activities had "dropped off in 2017 and 2018, and the office responsible for these activities lacked consistent leadership."
read it here

When you read about Tyler Reeb in days to come, think about what you just learned and then ask yourself what you can do to deliver the message to others, that Tyler Reeb should have heard.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Air Force Suicides broke record in 2019

UPDATE From Dayton Daily News
Photos of military suicide statistics leaked to social media last week have been confirmed by military officials, a national defense industry publication says. The photo on Facebook shows total “Force” suicides of 136 individuals for calender year 2019.“Officials confirmed the number last week after the latest statistics appeared on social media,” a recent story says.

Air Force suicides set a record in 2019

San Antonio Express
Sig Christenson
February 1, 2020
More than 800 trainees paraded during the Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation held at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in this 2019 file photo. Recent data show that the Air Force set a record for suicides last year.Photo: Bob Owen /Staff photographer

The Air Force set a record for suicides in 2019, a stark reminder that a Pentagon all but invincible on the battlefield has struggled to protect its troops from themselves.

There were at least 112 suspected and confirmed suicides among active-duty, reserve and Air National Guard personnel last year. That was a 40 percent jump from the year before and the highest total since the Air Force began tracking suicides in 2003.
read it here

Remind me again why anyone would support raising suicide awareness instead of healing awareness? #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Friday, January 31, 2020

Widow thinks males need support to speak up about needing help?

We failed at too much for too long!

When you know how long people have been openly talking about PTSD, discovering a widow seems to think it is just males who need to speak proves we failed!
Anil wasn't diagnosed with PTSD until four years after he left the armed forces (Image: Hull Daily Mail)
Army veteran Anil Carbon took his own life in February 2019 after finding it hard to adjust to civilian life.

Anil was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder, but wasn't diagnosed with it until four years after he left the armed forces.

Despite having symptoms, he would always say "I'm fine, it's nothing".

Now his wife Myshelle Carbon wants to raise awareness of men's mental health and how important it is that men feel they can speak up, reports Hull Live.
read it here

Reminder, females have higher rates of PTSD and suicide!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Identifying which soldiers are thinking about suicide still out of reach

Many soldiers thinking about suicide show no signs

Linda Carroll
January 29, 2020

Combat trauma wasn’t predictive, Ursano said. “In the theater, they’re all being exposed to combat trauma,” he explained. “So it didn’t distinguish who was at risk.”
(Reuters Health) - Nearly half of deployed soldiers thinking about suicide show no obvious signs that would help mental health professionals identify them, a new study finds.

Researchers poring through data on almost 4,000 soldiers serving in Afghanistan in 2012 found that 40% of those who said they had contemplated suicide in the past 30 days had not been diagnosed with a major mental health problem and did not show any other signs that would help health providers to identify them as being at risk, according to the report in JAMA Network Open.

“These soldiers wouldn’t have been picked up if they were just screened for mental health disorders,” said coauthor Dr. Robert Ursano, director of The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress at the Uniformed Services University.

Identifying which soldiers are thinking about suicide, known as suicidal ideation, is very important, Ursano said.
read it here

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

raising suicide awareness is actually dead language

Group says they are raising awareness...but not why they are not doing it for free?

When you read what this ad on Facebook says, to "raise more awareness for the 22 veterans who take their lives." When you think about it, raising suicide awareness is actually dead language!

It also turns out they are using the money to "deliver" memorial plaques after it happened to a grieving family after someone they loved took their own life BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BECOME AWARE THEY COULD HEAL!

Are they raising awareness it is happening? Why? Has anyone asked them? What is the point of doing frickin pushups?

Too bad they do not know how many times it actually happened today...or any other day!

What is worse in all of this, is it got worse for our troops and veterans since all this suicide awareness started!

The "number" remained an average of 500 a year, even though the number of those serving went down!

The total number of military personnel is over 3.6 million strong, including DoD Active Duty military personnel (1,388,028); DHS’s Active Duty Coast Guard members (41,849); DoD Ready Reserve and DHS Coast Guard Reserve members (1,086,447); members of the Retired Reserve (212,314) and Standby Reserve (16,327); and DoD appropriated and non appropriated fund civilian personnel (907,121). DoD’s Active Duty and DHS’s Coast Guard Active Duty members comprise the largest portion of the military force (39.2%), followed by Ready Reserve members (29.7%) and DoD civilian personnel (24.8%).
U.S. military force numbers, by service branch and reserve component 2018 Published by Erin Duffin, Nov 12, 2019

The U.S. Army had the highest number of active duty personnel in 2018, with 471,990 troops. In the same year, the Coast Guard had the fewest number of active duty members, with 41,132.

Active and reserve U.S. military force personnel numbers by service branch and reserve component in 2018
For known veteran suicides, look at the percentages going up.

 This is the last respectable report before the VA started to "adjust" how our veterans are counted.

So, now that you are more aware of how this stuff does not help those who are thinking about suicide, being reminded of more who gave up on themselves, do you think you may want to start supporting people raising healing awareness instead?

Monday, January 27, 2020

Arkansas Army National Guard, as two guardsmen took their own life.

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Two Arkansas Army National Guardsmen take their own life this week

Author: Ashley Godwin (THV11)
January 24, 2020
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — It's been a tragic week for the Arkansas Army National Guard, as two guardsmen took their own life.
A statement sent to us by the Arkansas Army National Guard says they are "grieving with the families and loved ones of the two soldiers who are no longer with us. The Guard is like one big family."

The grief can be felt throughout as several people reached out on social media to share their condolences, including service member Melody Daniel.
read it here

Sunday, January 26, 2020

UK Ret. Major wants all veterans screened for PTSD

Screen war veterans for PTSD to end 'tragedy' of suicides, retired major demands

The Mirror
BySean Rayment
25 JAN 2020
EXCLUSIVE: Retired Major Richard Streatfeild spoke out after Jamie Davis, 30, took his own life, making him the fourth rifleman from the same unit to do so

Maj Streatfeild, who was awarded an MBE for his service in Afghanistan, claimed defence chiefs are too frightened to screen for PTSD “because of what they might find and the impact it would have on recruitment and retention”.

Retired Major Richard Streatfeild wants all war veterans to be screened for PTSD (Image: Adam Gerrard/Sunday Mirror)

A former officer who saw his troops dragged through hell in Afghanistan today demands Government action on PTSD after the suicide of yet another hero.

Retired Major Richard Streatfeild wants all war veterans to be screened for post-traumatic stress disorder in a bid to save hundreds left feeling suicidal.

He spoke after Jamie Davis, 30 – who served with A Company, 4 Rifles – took his own life this month.

Maj Streatfeild – who has battled post-traumatic stress himself – said: “Jamie is now the fourth Rifleman from A Company from my two years in command 10 years ago to have died at home, not abroad, in similar tragic circumstances.

“Almost as many as were killed on operations. A figure that is fast becoming a stain on post-operational care.”

Jamie was the first veteran to have died this year and is the 160th former soldier to have committed suicide since January 2018.
read it here

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

When do we demand reporters get suicide report right?

Clearing the road for facts on veteran suicide

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 22, 2020

Until we actually know the truth, we cannot begin to change what is happening. While it appears that FOX has attempted to claim certain things in the latest report, we need to take a good look at what is reported. After all, we should be doing it with all reports no matter what publication attempted to manipulate data...including the government itself.

That is from a FOX News report on veterans committing suicide. Veteran suicide rates remain alarmingly high despite years of reform from January 21, 2020 by Hollie McKay.
The report also underscored that for each year, from 2005 to 2017, veterans with recent Veterans Health Administration (VHA) use had higher suicide rates than other veterans. Of those VHA users, 58.7 percent had a diagnosed mental health or substance use disorder. Suicide rates were also highest among those diagnosed with opioid abuse disorder or bipolar.
Two different findings were put together. The truth is, veterans who go to the VA had an increased suicide rate of 1.3%, while for non-VA patients it was an increase of 11.8%...that they know of.

This is from the VA report,
Age- and Sex-Adjusted Suicide Rates for Veterans Who Used VHA Care
This section presents information on suicide deaths and rates among Veterans with recent use of VHA care and those without recent VHA use. Veterans who had recently used VHA care were defined as Veterans who had a VHA health encounter in the calendar year of interest or in the prior calendar year.

• For each year, from 2005 to 2017, Veterans with recent VHA use had higher suicide rates than other Veterans. However, over these years, suicide rates among Veterans with recent VHA use increased at a slower pace than for other Veterans.

• The age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans with recent VHA use increased by 1.3% between 2016 and 2017.

• The age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate among Veterans who did not use VHA care increased by 11.8% between 2016 and 2017.
If you go to the release about the report, you will discover that the numbers within the report do not include 919 National Guard and Reservists who committed suicide.

Between 2016 and 2017, the suicide rate among never federally activated former National Guard members increased from 27.7 per 100,000 to 32.2 per 100,000.
• Between 2016 and 2017, the suicide rate among never federally activated former Reserve members decreased from 26.6 per 100,000 to 25.3 per 100,000.
• In 2017, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members, an average of 2.5 suicide deaths per day.
The report does not put in active duty service members suicides.
It is important to consider Veteran suicide in the context of suicide mortality among all U.S. adults. Also, in reporting on Veteran suicide, we focus on former service members who most closely meet the official definition of Veteran status that is used by VA and other federal agencies (see endnote regarding Title 38).3 For this report, a Veteran is defined as someone who had been activated for federal military service and was not currently serving at the time of death.
What is not included in any report are those who do not receive an honorable discharge, no matter the circumstances behind that discharge.

The Department of Defense publishes the suicide report for active duty and reserve components for the prior year, in other words, it is more up to date than the data from the VA. This is from the report released last year for 2018.

For anyone who believed that the number of military suicides were included with the VA report on "veteran suicides" as told by reporters, these are the facts from the VA.
One key change from this year’s report is that it does not group together Veterans eligible for VA services with servicemembers and former National Guard and Reserve members who were never federally activated. This change was necessary because these groups are unique and do not all qualify for the same benefits and services, therefore they require individualized outreach strategies.
It is important to read this part again. Too many think that sending veterans into civilian healthcare system is a good idea, however, as this report points out, the rate of civilians committing suicide has increased 43.6%.
From 2005 to 2017, suicides among all U.S. adults increased by 43.6 percent, while suicides among Veterans increased by 6.1 percent.
America’s non-Veteran population is increasing while its Veteran population is decreasing over time.
The number of Veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 to 2017.
In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population differences in age and sex.
Firearms were the method of suicide in 70.7 percent of male Veteran suicide deaths and 43.2 percent of female Veteran suicide deaths in 2017.
In addition to the aforementioned Veteran suicides, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members in 2017, an average of 2.5 suicide deaths per day.

In this part the VA contradicted itself.

Veteran Suicide Rates by Age Group
• Veterans ages 18–34 had the highest suicide rate in 2017 (44.5 per 100,000).
• The suicide rate for Veterans ages 18–34 increased by 76% from 2005 to 2017.
• Veterans ages 55–74 had the lowest suicide rate per 100,000 in 2017.
• The absolute number of suicides was highest among Veterans 55–74 years old. This group accounted for 38% of all Veteran deaths by suicide in 2017.

And this is about female veterans.


Maybe if they paid attention in 2013...things would have been different by now. THE WARRIOR SAW, SUICIDES AFTER WAR by Kathie Costos
Military and veteran suicides are higher even though billions are spent every year trying to prevent them. After years of research most can be connected to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD has been researched for 40 years yet most of what was known has been forgotten. Families are left blaming themselves for what they were never told. Reporters have failed to research. Congress failed at holding people accountable. The military failed at giving them the help they need. We failed to pay attention.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Washington Post did not notice research should be about facts, not just what they see?

Washington Post got military suicide research wrong

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 19, 2020

One would think that an article on something as serious as military suicides would require diligent research, before presenting it as such. So, why did Washington Post not notice research should be about facts, not just what they see?

The Houston Chronicle posted from The Washington Post, Can historical analysis help reduce military deaths by suicide? by Jeffrey Allen Smith, Michael Doidge, Ryan Hanoa and B. Christopher Frueh, January 17, 2020,
"At the dawn of a new decade, it is time to broaden the scope of research and use history to inform our problem-solving and the policies we develop as result. Incorporating historical data can help scientific researchers recognize and separate chronic forces from acute factors affecting suicide rates. Instead of analyzing military suicide over the past 20, 50 or 70 years, what if we examined available records and documents from the past 200? We did just this in a recently published study."
but the problem is, others have been looking at historical facts for a lot longer. While these are great questions,
"Examining historical patterns can assist policymakers and the military in addressing the factors causing it. For example, we must now ask ourselves what is different and unique about the war on terrorism? Why do the best efforts of the Defense Department, modern psychiatry and dramatically expanded mental health programs not result in lower suicide rates, instead of higher ones? What is different about today's force than yesterday's?"
the rest of the article did little to answer them, especially when so much was wrong with the article itself.
"Following World War II, to maintain commitments abroad, the United States drafted a standing army larger than ever before. To enhance retention and keep the U.S. military competitive with the private sector, President Dwight Eisenhower championed expanded access to housing and health care for service members and their families in his 1954 State of the Union address. Improvements to both followed in the years ahead."
Well, they had the draft in other wars all the way up to Vietnam. It omitted why the rate went down, and that is because during WWII, when a service member showed signs of mental health stress, they were sent back home. During the Korean War, they were treated by clinicians embedded with the troops. If they could return to duty after therapy, they did, otherwise, they were sent back home.

As for Vietnam, the DEROS deployments took care of that because when their year was up, they were on their way back home, before they could understand something was clearly wrong. When asked about any problems before discharge, they denied they had any problems so they could go home.

They also did not notice this article from U.S. Army Medial Department
Incidence of Mental Disorders
Rates of hospitalization for mental disorders in Army personnel during the postwar period (1920-30) ranged from 11 to 12 per 1,000 men per year.19 These rates included admissions for "mental alienation" (dementia praecox, manic depressive psychosis, general paresis, alcoholic and other organic psychoses, mental deficiency, constitutional psychopathic states, hypochondriasis) and various neurotic disorders (hysteria, neurasthenia, psychasthenia, psychoneurosis, neurocirculatory asthenia). The incidence of psychotic disorders during this period was from 2 to 3 per 1,000 per annum. Excluded from the preceding mental disease categories were admissions for neurological diseases, drug addiction, and acute and chronic alcoholism. Admissions for alcoholism alone during this 10-year period were from 7 to 8 per 1,000 per annum, a marked decrease from rates of approximately 16 per 1,000 per annum for alcohol admissions in the decade prior to World War I (1907-16) before the establishment of the National Prohibition Act. That mental disorders constituted a major medical problem in the postwar era is indicated by the following data:
1. Suicide was the leading cause of death in military personnel in this decade (over 0.5 per 1,000 strength per annum).

2. Mental disorders as a class were the largest cause for medical discharge with a rate of 6 to 7 per 1,000 strength per annum, which indicated that more than one-half of the admissions eventuated in discharge.

3. Dementia praecox was the leading single disease cause for medical discharge (2 to 3 per 1,000 strength per annum).

4. In general, mental disorders, excluding alcoholism and drug addiction, were first as a cause for discharge, fifth or sixth as a cause for hospital admissions, and third or fourth in producing loss of duty time for medical reasons.

5. Mental disorders were the leading cause for medical evacuation from oversea stations.
As for OEF and OIF, the increase in suicides was predicted by Wounded Times back in 2009, following the release of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
If you promote this program the way Battlemind was promoted, count on the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides to go up instead of down. It's just one more deadly mistake after another and just as dangerous as sending them into Iraq without the armor needed to protect them.
And this was part of that article on Wounded Times
Ever notice the vast majority of the men and women you command end up carrying out the mission they are given, fighting fiercely and showing great courage even though they are already carrying the wound inside of them? They fulfill their duty despite flashbacks and nightmares draining them because their duty comes first to them. Do you understand how much that takes for them to do that? Yet you think telling them their minds are not tough enough will solve the problem? What kind of a tough mind do you think they needed to have to fight on despite this killing pain inside of them?
As with everything else, facts are still facts, no matter if they are acknowledged or not.
"This relatively stable paradigm lasted until the beginning the 21st century and the dawn of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, when the suicide rate increased once more, eventually spiking at 29.7 per 100,000 in 2012. By February 2007, medical cost-cutting and rising numbers of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses had overwhelmed the military."
They left out how Vietnam veterans came home and fought for all the research and funding going toward understanding PTSD. They left out how many "efforts" produced billions in increased funding, along with "awareness" at the same time suicides did in fact increase. Not just within the military, but among those in the veteran community.

And they got this wrong too!
While the Army's active duty suicide rate has dropped from the 2012 peak, it has remained around 20 to 30 per 100,000. While in the past, periods of war seem to have lowered suicide rates, that correlation became inverted first during the decades-long conflict in Vietnam and the almost-two-decade wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Correlation is not causation, but the current elevated rates appear to be indicative of a bedeviling new paradigm.
Naturally they omitted that in 2012 there were less serving because the size of the military was cut due to sequestration and the end of the War in Iraq. This is from PolitiFact in 2015.
In 2012, the Army had about 570,000 soldiers. Reductions over several years have taken it down to its current size of about 490,000. Rubio was referring to the Army’s announcement in July that it plans to cut the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 by fiscal year 2018, or a total of 40,000 positions.‎
They keep getting Vietnam wrong too, considering it was claiming lives of US service members since the 50's and the last to be killed came in 1975.

This is from the DOD yearly report on military suicides.

Add Active Duty with Reserve Components. It has averaged 500 a year since 2012. Nothing will ever change until reporters get serious about what they put out as facts!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Traffic stop suicide claimed life of young Marine after 3 tours

Marine who fatally shot himself during Chesterfield traffic stop had struggled with alcohol use

Richmond Times Dispatch
Mark Bowes
Jan 14, 2020
Childress, who joined the Marines after graduating from high school in 2013, had served three deployments overseas, according to his obituary notice. It couldn’t immediately be discerned where overseas he served.
Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, graduated in 2013 from Manchester High School.
Family photo through Bliley Funeral Home
A young Marine sergeant from Chesterfield County who fatally shot himself early New Year’s Day during a traffic stop in Midlothian had been struggling with alcohol and was detained previously for a mental health commitment order, according to his wife and the authorities.

Sgt. Shawn Childress, 24, a Manchester High School graduate who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., pulled a handgun and shot himself about 1:15 a.m. Jan. 1 after a Chesterfield officer stopped him for suspicion of drunken driving on Midlothian Turnpike near Courthouse Road, police said.
read it here

Monday, January 6, 2020

Our government has a lot of explaining to do about the rise in suicides

Pay attention if you are not freaked out and you will be

Our government has a lot of explaining to do about the rise in suicides, but they do not seem to care about answering to us at all. Why would they since we are not demanding it?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 6, 2020

When reports came out about what opioids were doing, they did something.
A lawyer for more than 2,000 cities and counties suing opioid makers says a $48 billion deal touted by four state AGs still isn't big enough.
So why not do something when we have seen a rise in suicides? At the same time more was being spent to prevent them, and researchers have been screaming about drugs being given to fight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder evidence proves it got worse than ever!

While we have been reading about medication reports since the beginning of Wounded Times, apparently, reporters drop the subject instead of connecting the dots. In 2012, I posted Military suicide studies must include drugs after reading a report from Counter Punch discussing the side effects of most of the medications given to veterans, as well as those who currently serve.

This is from part of the report "Boom in suicides" by Martha Rosenberg.
The US’s suicide rate has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s. The rise correlates with the debut of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in the late 1990s, the approval of many drugs with suicide links and more people taking psychoactive drugs for lifestyle problems.

Dr. Benjamin announced that federal grants totaling $55 million will save 20,000 lives in the next five years through suicide hotlines, more mental health workers in the VA, better depression screening and Facebook tracking of suicidal messages. Nowhere, including in the suicide-racked military, does she suggest looking at the overmedication which has gone hand-in-hand with the deaths. And on which the government is spending a lot more than $55 million.
Guess what the number of suicides is now?
10. Suicide
Deaths in 2017: 47,173
When a person dies by suicide, they may have lived with a mental health condition — such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder — for a long time.

However, not all people who attempt suicide or die by it have these conditions.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 years.

Establishing a strong support network, taking appropriate medications, and seeking therapy may help reduce the risk of suicide.
The reports from the DOD and the VA should have caused us to contact every member of congress, since they have been spending our money to achieve such miserable results.

Freaked out yet? Then start paying attention and you will be! Then maybe we can actually save lives instead of just raising awareness they are giving up,

We did nothing meaningful. We just went with whatever was popular on social media. You know, like the stunts raising awareness it was happening...while no one explained what the point of doing any of it was.

Reports kept flooding my email box on how the government was increasing spending fighting PTSD and reducing the suicide rate...almost as often as the rise in suicides were coming in. What I was not seeing was outrage! I was not seeing anyone even questioning why it has gotten worse, while they just posted the same BS reports as if they were supposed to mean a damn thing. The only people it meant anything to were the ones making money off of all of it!

Well BOHICA because while Wounded Times warned about the nasal spray everyone else seemed to think was a good thing President Trump pushed...the report from STATNEWS confirms it was just one more stunt to push on veterans.
In August, President Trump proudly proclaimed that he had directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to buy “a lot” of a drug known as esketamine, the first new major depression treatment with a novel mechanism to hit the U.S. market in decades.

“Its results are incredible,” Trump said at a veterans convention in Kentucky. “I’ve instructed the top officials to go out and get as much of it as you can.”

As of mid-December, the VA had treated just 15 veterans across the country with the drug. The nasal spray, which was developed by Janssen and named Spravato, was only available at seven of the agency’s facilities — out of more than 1,200. The VA treated its first patient with Spravato in June.
And just so you know "Who’s behind the new publication? STAT is produced by Boston Globe Media. Our headquarters is located in Boston but we have bureaus in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. It was started by John Henry, the owner of Boston Globe Media and the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox. Rick Berke is executive editor."

UPDATE Pharmalittle: Few vets were treated with antidepressant Trump touted;

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 time for veterans to stop trying to be normal when they can be stronger than that

Seeing 2020 through stronger eyes

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 31, 2019

When you hear a number like 20/20, the automatic thought is that someone has perfect vision. After all, that number stuck like glue for decades. Numbers usually do "stick" even if they are wrong.

I took a look at the facts on this at All About Vision by Amy Hellem and Gary Heiting, OD and this was a real eye opener. (pun intended)
If this more inclusive (and accurate) definition of "vision" is used, what most people call "20/20 vision" should really be called "20/20 visual acuity." Realistically, that probably won't happen. For better or worse, the term "20/20 vision" is likely here to stay.
As some have thought that 20/20 was the best, it is actually stronger to have 20/10.
On most Snellen charts, the smallest letters correspond to 20/10 visual acuity. If you have 20/10 visual acuity, your eyesight is twice as sharp as that of a person with normal (20/20) vision.
20/20 may be "normal" but 20/10 is stronger than normal.

Most people have also heard the number "22" referring to the number of veterans thought to have committed suicide on any given day. That number is also wrong. Because so many people simply believed it without looking to see what the reality was, nothing changed. Much like the article on All About Vision, they are blind if that is all they can see.
The single big "E" at the top of most Snellen eye charts corresponds to 20/200 visual acuity. If this is the smallest letter size you can discern with your best corrective lenses in front of your eyes, you are legally blind.
It is time to see how to change what veterans hear, as well as what they can see.

They can heal PTSD if how they see themselves is put into focus!

This video is from 2016 when a veteran I worked with, was willing to do the work necessary to heal. He went to the VA for mental health help, started taking care of his body and we worked on the spiritual needs he had. He was able to see himself as a survivor instead of a victim. The world is better off because he came out of the darkness he had lived with and wanted to share a message of hope to start off the new year!
This is Johnnie. He has survived three attempted suicides and spent time as a homeless veteran. A year ago, he never thought he would be where he is today. He is healing and he wants to make sure other veterans get the message of something worth living for instead of the message spread about suicides. Spend next year healing and let this New Year be the year you begin to change again, only this time, for the better!

That is how you get veterans to change their focus from what others perceive as "normal numbers" and begin to see what is much stronger than that.

Help them to see that they can spend their last worst day on earth and begin to celebrate an alive day by finding hope again.
Coming home after combat should not be more dangerous but it is. Too many veterans committed suicide today. Be alive today to heal tomorrow. You served because you loved this country and those you served with. Live for love now!
This was uploaded on 1-2-2012, long before the reports became headline news. The number back then was 18 a day. Goes to show how little has changed and how all the talk about "raising awareness" has been a lot of stunts and very little progress.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Those who serve this country now...those who served it before, and all those who will come afterwards are screwed!

Dereliction of the duty they provided

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 28, 2019

A report on Military Times should have sent shockwaves to every military family. Considering what we have seen with the rise in suicides among those currently serving, it is an indication that things are about to get even worse.

Since 2012, the average number of suicides reported by the Department of Defense remains at about 500 per year but considering that most reporters really do not give a crap, most people do not know that.

Considering we cannot even get that through to the public, who has the time to talk about their family members committing suicide? After all, we cannot even manage to talk about what the troops are still going through after billions have been spent to prevent them from committing suicide.

Bet you didn't know a Captain in the Kansas National Guard quit in protest because of the lack of actual suicide prevention!

The rest of the report should have sent shockwaves into the veterans community as well. As more and more seem fine with the fact that the VA budget has ballooned to cover private practices picking up the healthcare of our veterans, we also need to think about the ramifications because it is not good in the real world.
"The report noted that the D.C. area is one of the most challenging in the country to hire mental health providers; more than 80 percent of psychiatrists, psychologists and license clinical social workers do not take insurance, operating on a cash-only basis."
Yes you read that only! How many others are operating the same way? How many veterans are also paying cash so that no one knows they are being treated for PTSD to avoid the threat of losing their guns, or jobs? Any idea how many are still working on jobs that require them to be able to carry weapons?

It is too easy to just assume that all veterans with PTSD are too dangerous to have a gun! Top that off with the providers taking cash only, will not be inclined to see patients sent from the VA, especially when their track record of paying is abysmal!

But is actually even worse than that. Back to the report on Military Times.
"The demand for mental health services has risen across the United States in the past decade as the number of providers is has not kept pace and is barely holding steady. The Health Resources and Services Administration projects a shortfall of 250,000 providers by 2025."
And even more damning...
"And some geographic regions are harder hit by the mental health provider shortage. In these areas, the Defense Department faces even more difficult challenges hiring and retaining an adequate number of personnel."
Take a look at what some want to subject veterans across the country to because if there are not enough providers for civilians, we just sent veterans to the back of the that line!

WWMT News reported in Michigan there is a shortage of mental health providers.
Studies show in Michigan about 330,000 people live with a serious mental illness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and nearly 60% don't receive treatment because help can be hard to find.

Like most of the country, Michigan is in desperate need of more psychiatrists - especially for children.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, the state had just 239 psychiatrists trained to treat children in 2017, which is 11 psychiatrists for every 100,000 children across the state.

KFDA News reported that Texas Panhandle sees shortage of Mental Health Providers
The recent data shows that across the state there is an average of one mental health provider to 957 individuals, but in the Texas Panhandle there is one mental health provider to 4,400 individuals, which makes it hard for those with behavioral issues to get the help they need. Like the rest of the United States, the Panhandle is seeing an increase in patients seeking mental health treatment, but they can’t find enough doctors, nurses, and therapists to treat them.

KCUR NPR reported Kansas Sees Shortage Of Psychiatrists And Other Mental Health Providers
For years, the center has used remote appointments with local psychiatrists to reach patients in far-flung corners of its coverage area, which spans 20 largely rural counties. But recently, Hill said, it’s been almost impossible to find psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses to do even that. He’s had to turn to providers who conference in from Kansas City, Texas and Tennessee.
There are 431 psychiatrists actively licensed to practice in Kansas, according to the state’s Board of Healing Arts. One calculation by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the state needs 53 more to meet its needs.
So do you think that you have been told the truth about any of this? Or are you now aware as to why it has gotten steadily worse for those who serve this country now...those who served it before, and all those who will come afterwards? They are screwed unless we demand a hell of a lot better out of Washington!

Monday, December 23, 2019

All they hear about is that other veterans lost their battles

Operation Snowflake helps gold star family heal following suicide

By: Steve Dent
Dec 22, 2019

GREENLEAF, Idaho — In 2013 Tanner Volkers died by suicide while serving in the United States Air Force, it's a loss the Volkers family continues to mourn.
"He always knew from 12-years-old that he wanted to be in the military," Tanner's mother Melissa Volkers said. “He was the happiest kid ever, and why he’s not here right now, we will never know.”

Volkers now channels her energy into helping other military families honor the lives of their loved ones lost to suicide.

"I was having a really hard time during the holidays, so I sent out for snowflakes," said Volkers. "It was very small in the beginning and I never dreamed it would turn into this.”

Operation Snowflake is a memorial that now raises awareness to the fact that every day in our country, 22 veterans and active duty service members die by suicide.
read it here

This is not the story I thought it would be.

While I feel terrible for the family, it is happening way too often. A grieving family wants to turn their pain into something positive, and that is good. What is bad is when they are passing on information that is not true. The number is not now, nor has it ever been "22 a day" and that is according to the VA and was within the report everyone seems fixated on repeating.

Further, this report contains information from the first 21 states to contribute data for this project and does not include some states, such as California and Texas, with larger Veteran populations. Information from these states has been received and will be included in future reports.
Estimates that the number of suicides among Veterans each day has increased, are based on information provided by 21 states and may not be generalizable to the larger Veteran population.
I do not blame the families but I do blame everyone, from politicians to the media for sharing a lie. To pretend to care is what made all this worse for our veterans after over a decade of people doing what they want to instead of what is needed to change the outcome.

Raising awareness veterans are killing themselves makes no sense at all. They already know that. What they do not know is how to heal because all they hear about is that other veterans lost their battles.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Is the VA lying? Is the DOD lying? Are reporters lying? Or is it all of them?

Is the Department of Defense lying about suicides or are reporters?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 17, 2019

First came the number "22" from limited data from just "21" states. Not that most people bothered to read the report itself, or noticed any real facts. Why should they when reporters were able to grab a headline with "22 a day" and got away with it.

Now they are getting away with reporting the number is no longer "22" or even the "20" the VA used in the follow up report. Now they are getting away with saying that the number is actually "17" and the rest are from those serving now.
"We note that a prior report indicated that there were on average 20 suicide deaths per day in 2014 when combining three groups who died from suicide: Veterans, current service members, and former National Guard or Reserve members who were never federally activated."

The Department of Defense has been reporting on suicides among all the branches, including National Guard and Reservists. The reports show an average of 500 per year since 2012, or about 1.5 per day. This is the last report they issued. You need to combine the "Active Component" with the "Reserve Component" totals.

And this is from other years.
While the DOD is counting the "Reserve Components" it seems the VA is using a different number while counting them as well

In addition to the aforementioned Veteran suicides, there were 919 suicides among never federally activated former National Guard and Reserve members in 2017, an average 2.5 suicide deaths per day.
Yet according to the DOD, it was a total of 219 in 2017.

As damming as all of that is, the latest report from the VA, claiming they had changed how they calculate "suicides" makes it worse.

This chart shows that the majority of the veterans they know about, and admit are still committing suicide, are over the age of 35!
This shows the percentage of veterans committing suicide they know about has gone up.

And this one shows how the number of living veterans has gone down.
Is the VA lying? Is the DOD lying? Are reporters lying? Or is it all of them?