Fort Carson Struggles with Suicidal and Homicidal Soldiers

February 2009

As the Army released its suicide numbers for 2008, the highest in a generation, Army Secretary Pete Geren said, "Why do the numbers keep going up? We can't tell you." Yet inspection of 25 suicides, prescription drug deaths, and murders involving soldiers at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs reveals that many of the deaths seem avoidable. That's according to a week-long investigative series at Salon, co-written by national correspondent Mark Benjamin and yours truly, that begins today. Intensive analysis of 10 of the cases exposed a pattern in which suicides or murders might have been avoided if the Army had better handled the predictable symptoms of combat-related stress and brain injuries. The first story, "The Death Dealers Took My Life!," takes a look at one soldier's battle with suicide. Editor & Publisher's blog writes of the series, "Don't miss it." Still, the suicide rate continues to climb. Just last week The New York Times reported the number of soldiers who took their own lives could reach 24 in January, which would be the highest monthly total since the Army began tabulating the data in 1980.

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