Here is a sad and little-publicized fact:

The American military has sustained 761 combat deaths in Afghanistan. In the same time period, 817 soldiers have committed suicide.

What is happening is nothing short of madness: multiple, consecutive tours of duty with no end in sight. I believe that the longer these men and women endure post-traumatic stress disorder, the more likely the option of suicide raises its head.

Because we have an all-volunteer force, the American public doesn’t get to see the damage and destruction of human lives war causes. If we had a draft, these horrible numbers would be more real.

We probably would have had more combat fatalities, but we would have been out of Afghanistan four years ago.

The suicide numbers are a tragedy everyone should be aware of and understand their awful implications.


Stephen R. Aucoin