This weekend we honor those serving in our military, and the word ‘sacrifice’ will be used frequently. We talk about the sacrifices that families of military personnel make, and we talk about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in service to their country.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki recently announced they were adding 1,900 mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff. This is a response to the growing epidemic of suicides among combat veterans.
The past decade has seen an unprecedented use of combat personnel, and the resulting stress of multiple deployments causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide outnumber combat deaths. According to an article in the Air Force Times, suicides among airmen are up 40 percent over last year.
Today, let us also remember those who have sacrificed their sanity in the performance of their combat duty.