Army suicides nearly equal OEF death toll
So far in 2010, nearly as many active and non-active duty troops have committed suicide as have died while serving in Afghanistan, or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), 163 and 172, specifically (This story was first reported by NPR and you can read/listen to it here). What a grim milestone in the history of the war. The Army has tried to aggressively address this growing problem, but there is no clear indication of what causes a soldier to commit suicide. It goes across bases, services, job descriptions and wars. The only indicator is that the strain of multiple tours and nearly a decade of war is affecting the troops mentally and physically in ways no one has yet to fully comphrehend.
The numbers are a reminder that every soldier fights two wars – the one on the battlefield and the one when he/she returns home. Everyone’s war experience is unique and in the middle of war, there is no time to process it. Rather than digest experiences, soldiers are striving to survive. Only at home does it fully start to sink in. And then the battle begins. It makes me wonder whether the military should consider the deaths as part of the wars' casualty figures.