Edmonds Military Wire: Army faces new threat in record-high suicides

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The Army has a new threat – and unfortunately it is an ongoing one that seems to grow regardless of the resources they throw at it: service member suicides.

In the month of July, the Army reported 32 suspected active duty and reservist suicides, the highest monthly toll on record. Of those 32, five took place at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Why the increase when, to date, the Army has been devoting countless dollars and manpower to reversing the trend?  Some will argue it has much to do with the countless deployments, while others point to the uncertainty of what life holds after the military. Some suggest it is the medication cocktail our troops are prescribed in order to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Bottom line: The numbers continue to grow each year.

In addition, the number of suicides committed by those married to service members is also increasing – and often, those numbers are under-reported or not reported at all. The organization Not Alone has organized a spousal support group that is worth every word written on the page.

If you or someone you know in the military, or as a veteran, is contemplating suicide, stop for a moment and consider what you have that is worth living for — guaranteed, there is something in your life worth living for – and then pick up the phone and call the Suicide Hotline.

More than your life counts on it.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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