Amongst veterans who are receiving some treatment from the VA, there are 950 suicide attempts per month, but most vets who commit suicide are not receiving any treatment. The overwhelming majority of successful suicide attempts are committed by male vets, including 1,621 known attempts by Iraq and Afghanistan vets last year.
The article in the Army Times does not delve into the reasons for suicide, but others have, and divorce and family destruction apparently play a larger role than anything else.
Attempts by the VA to perform a sort of triage for soldiers whose lives have been wrecked by wives, babymommas, girlfriends, etc., are alleviating the problem to some degree; a hotline the VA set up gets some 10,000 calls per month.
Unfortunately, the article ends on the familiar “blame the men” note we’re all familiar with, stating:
In general, VA officials said, women attempt suicide more often, but men are more likely to succeed in the attempt, mainly because women use less lethal and less violent means while men are more likely to use firearms.
This is not true. Men succeed more often because they know they will not get as much sympathy and help, and therefore have a greater desire to die. Women – especially soldiers – are not so stupid as to be ignorant of what’s required to successfully kill oneself — they simply know that a suicide “attempt” will gain them great sympathy and help. As long as our culture encourages abuse and exploitation of men for the benefit of women and elite men, the male suicide rate will continue to be some four to five times as high as the female rate. Trying to obfuscate that fact by pretending that women are equally as burdened, but simply too frail and delicate to actually carry out a suicide, is part of the reason this problem is perpetuated.