News Release

Suicide Rate for Vets Increases


USA Today reports: “The suicide rate among 18- to 29-year-old men who’ve left the military has gone up significantly. The rate for these veterans went up 26 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to preliminary data from the Veterans Affairs Department.”

Aaron Glantz is an editor at New America Media and author of the book “The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans.” He said today: “It’s good to see the VA finally admitting there’s an epidemic of suicide among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Now we’ll see if the Obama administration is willing to act on this information. Far too many veterans have killed themselves after being turned away from the VA, a national disgrace that must be stopped.”

Jamail is the author of “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He said today: “This is indicative of pervasive and worsening systemic problems afflicting a military mental health care system that is not only overburdened, overstressed, understaffed and ill-equipped, it is exponentially worsened by its being administered by career military with rank, but who are ill-trained to provide the complex psychiatric expertise necessary to effectively treat psychologically impaired soldiers from both occupations.”

Jamail recently interviewed board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Kernan Manion, who treated Marines who were Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at Camp Lejeune. Dr. Manion described to Jamail what he sees happening with returning soldiers as their being in “a state of psychic implosion — someone that is literally having a psychological meltdown. It’s like having your motherboard shut down. Just like a computer motherboard shutdown, the internal psychological apparatus, the mechanism itself, fries, it shuts down. There’s currently simply no terminology in the APA (American Psychiatric Association) literature for this. When you’re dealing with cumulative stress from constant guardedness because of continuous exposure to danger — multiple firefights, patrols, losses of buddies and utter exhaustion from deployment — and then you have family problems, and relationship problems, and then on top of all of that you have commanders telling you you’re worthless, you simply can’t think straight anymore, and who could be expected to. We need to name that — this is psychological implosion — what we’re talking about here is meltdown.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Hollie Ainbinder, (615) 893-0495