News Release

Do Veteran Suicides Exceed U.S. Deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq?


Available for a limited number of interviews, Glantz just wrote the investigative piece “After Service, Veteran Deaths Surge: Suicides, vehicle accidents and drug overdoses take lives,” simultaneously published in the Bay Citizen and by the New York Times.

The piece states: “In the six years after Reuben Paul Santos returned to Daly City from a combat tour in Iraq, he battled depression with poetry, violent video games and, finally, psychiatric treatment. His struggle ended last October, when he hung himself from a stairwell. He was 27.

“The high suicide rate among veterans has already emerged as a major issue for the military and the families and loved ones of military personnel. But Santos’ death is part of a larger trend that has remained hidden: a surge in the number of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans who have died not just as a result of suicide, but also because of vehicle accidents, motorcycle crashes, drug overdoses or other causes after being discharged from the military.

“An analysis of official death certificates on file at the State Department of Public Health reveals that more than 1,000 California veterans under 35 died between 2005 and 2008. That figure is three times higher than the number of California service members who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts over the same period. The Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs said they do not count the number of veterans who have died after leaving the military.”

Glantz is a reporter at the Bay Citizen and author of The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans. He has spent over seven years covering the war in Iraq and the treatment veterans receive when they come home.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167