The Herald covered the presentation by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis at CBC on May 5. The article says Mattis was asked about what the defense department was doing to curb vet suicides.
“He told the crowd he never understood how the guys who survived war would consider killing themselves.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (updated in 2017), veterans committed suicide at a rate of 20 per day in 2011, and the rate has remained stable since then. The rate is higher among non-Veterans Health Administration users. Rates of suicide have increased among younger veterans. The total number of vet suicides per year is unbelievable.
Mattis says the military branches are developing courses to help soldiers transition. Let’s hope these courses, once implemented, are successful in saving the lives of those who have seen what Mattis calls “the worst life had to offer.”
Lynn Crook, Richland