This statistic has been reported over and over again. But, really, is it true: do 22 veterans commit suicide each day?
First of all, this statistic has been quoted by a variety of media and veteran’s groups over the last several years.
But most likely the data came from a 2014 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) report entitled Suicide Data Report, 2012.
“the statistic of 22 veteran suicides per day was extrapolated from 2010 data reported from only 21 states. Not included in the 21 states was Texas and California, the two states considered to have the largest population of veterans in the nation.”
However, no one bothered to report the shocking lack of accuracy in the data.
But in a 2016 report from the VA entitled Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans 2001–2014, more than 55 million Veteran records from 1979 to 2014 from all 50 states and four territories were examined. This large source of veterans eliminated the difficulty in the aforementioned 2012 report by VA.
Here are the key findings from this new report:
• An average of just under 20 Veterans died by suicide each day from 2001 to 2014.
• In 2014, an average of about 20 Veterans died by suicide each day.
• In 2014, about 67% of all Veteran deaths by suicide were the result of firearm injuries.
• In 2014, about 65% of all Veterans who died by suicide were age 50 or older.
• In 2014, rates of suicide were highest among younger Veterans (ages 18–29) and lowest among older Veterans (ages 60+).
So the bottom line here is that the heretofore mentioned 22 veterans die each day by suicide was fairly accurate!
The topic of veterans’ suicides reached the 2016 presidential election. Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently spoke on this subject at a meeting of the Retired American Warriors PAC. Needless to say, the mainstream media intentionally mischaracterized his remarks.
As reported by Richard A. Viguerie reported:
“The fact of the matter is that Mr. Trump was acknowledging first and foremost what an extraordinary assemblage of American military heroes and leaders was in the room and secondly something that everyone who is a veteran or has a veteran in their family already knows – that everyone handles the stress of combat and military service differently.”
Unfortunately, after four years of this statistic, few of us are hopeful that there will be a drop in the 22 suicides per day by our veterans any time soon.
Regardless, all of us need to do our part.
So let’s get to it!