VA: Each Day, 20 Veterans Take Their Life, Most are 50-Plus Years of Age


Today, the Veterans Health Administration released new data about veterans’ suicides, based upon examination of over 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014, from every state in the nation and U.S. territories. Since 2001, U.S. adult civilian suicides increased 23 percent while veteran suicides increased 32 percent during the same period. From these more current data, the VA has also determined that veterans take their lives at the rate of 20 per day. Of these 20 veterans, 6 were in the care of the VA for at least one year prior to their death; the other 14 were not.

However, 65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older. In fact, 45 percent of veteran suicides in 2014 were aged 60 and older. Also disturbing is that suicide in the 18- to 29-year-old veteran cohort is steadily increasing, as is the number of women veterans who do not utilize VA services, but who take their own lives. In another not-unexpected note, 66 percent of all veteran suicides involve the use of a firearm. The VA’s final report will be publicly released later this month.

“These statistics are tragic,” said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America.   “They shock and disturb us. These numbers also suggest a variety of questions that ought to be asked if we are to find some of the answers: How many of those who take their life is homeless? Did they have meaningful employment, fair housing, health problems, relationship or financial issues? What seems to be the ‘common’ trigger, if any?”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been expended by the VA, by the Department of Defense, by private foundations, and by public research institutions, all trying to gain insights into suicide by veterans. Still, suicides persist,” Rowan said. “It is incumbent upon all of us in our communities–veterans, our families, our friends–along with the agencies of government to overcome the barriers and to coordinate financial resources and outreach efforts to find the key, if indeed there is one, to preventing suicide in as many instances as possible. One veteran suicide is too many.”


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4 thoughts on “VA: Each Day, 20 Veterans Take Their Life, Most are 50-Plus Years of Age

    • Young people enlist mostly out of ignorance based on pure lies by the military recruiters and enlisting officers, therefore we need to be compassionate towards them. When they are in service, their choices are to either do evil or die…That is why so many kill themselves after being forced to commit heinous crimes under orders…

  1. What about the present razzia on American citizens, trying to disarm them? I have my doubts about the deaths of veterans caused by themselves. Here’s one of the comments, shared in the link at the bottom.

    Emilio Zapata (1 year ago)
    “i was the first of 25 patients to get the treatment jan 2 2012. dept of labor doc said they weren’t doing pain patients anymore, said i had to drive to chicago and go to the mental health clinic for a refill on vicodin for my lower back. every month
    I told him fuck that, I was quitting the pills, asked him for 2 years to give me an alternative. I asked about pot, and he said the last guy who asked, got in trouble from his work. we were done. I walked out.
    he called me at home and said if i didn’t go to the follow up with the mental health in 24hrs, I would be fired as a patient. I asked how many other patients did what I am doing, he said no one has been able to walk away. I said “you shouldnt have told me that”. good luck.
    dept of labor dont let you quit, and until you see the next doctor, the doctor of record stands.
    i was the first, Im sure they didn’t let anyone leave that office without signing off on that doctor, after me. I told him, Im retired dude, I dont need a doctors note for work.
    I had a .308 by the font door after I got home. I expected trouble.
    I got a certified letter from the clinic and never signed for it. I guess he tried to quit my ass.
    took me a week to stop the opiates, Epsom salts, Valerian tea, some supplements.

    I dont take anything now, but I havent been back to the doctor in almost 4 years, and at my age 60+, thats not fair.
    I just dont trust that doctor, or any if they are all obamacare doctors now.
    I have to stay healthy, they will try to off my ass if they get the chance.
    Im one of those veterans”

  2. Veterans come back with a whole host of issues, yet it’s apparent that our senators are more concerned about dumping more money into more wars and could give a damm about our vets who need help. They should be getting first rate care, not put on a waiting list up to 6 months to be seen!

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