Military officials announced today that Army suicides increased by 20% in 2007, and attempted suicides went up more than 40%. These grim statistics come in the wake of President Bush’s final State of the Union address, during which he touted the troop surge as the answer to violence in Iraq. The president said, “high profile terrorist attacks are down, civilian deaths are down, sectarian killings are down.”
But with more troops serving and staying longer in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s not surprising they come home carrying more baggage. Some are even bringing the violence home with them. Earlier this month, the New York Times revealed that 121 veterans of the two current wars have been charged with murder on U.S. soil. Many of the cases have been easily traced back to combat trauma and the stress of deployment. It goes to show that the aftermath of war is never confined to the war zone; it always hits home.