The Madeleine Brand Show for June 11, 2012

Suicide rates increase among military veterans

For Some Returning US Troops, PTSD Is The New Battlefield

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division bow their heads in prayer before a deployment ceremony for another tour in Iraq August 13, 2009 at Fort Riley, Kansas. The Army requires all soldiers take suicide awareness classes as longer and more frequent deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years have taken a toll. Thousands of soldiers have returned from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental difficulties.

Suicide rates among U.S. veterans now occur at an alarming rate. More than 150 have occurred so far this year among active duty members of the various branches.

With the U.S. attempting to wind down two wars, veterans are returning home to bleak economic prospects. But a large number of the suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed.

Former marine Anthony Swofford, who fought in the first Gulf War and wrote the best selling book, Jarhead, joins the show to share some insight on the high suicide rates in the military.


Anthony Swofford is a former marine and author of the best selling book "Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles." His newest book "Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails: A Memoir" was released on June 5th.

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