Nearly the entire military corps at Fort Campbell, Ky., was summoned last month to hear an anxious general make an extraordinary plea about the alarming rate of suicide by soldiers. “Don’t take away your tomorrow,” the general beseeched his audience of thousands of men and women at the base, where 14 suicides in the first half of this year leads what many fear could be a record toll across the military services. The woeful challenge reaches far beyond Fort Campbell, as Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, emphasized in Washington last week. He predicted the toll this year will top the record of 2008, when the Army suffered 133 suicides. That was twice the number in 2004, before the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns turned into a slog of repeated tours.
Published: June 6, 2009