WASHINGTON — The economic downturn and the trauma of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have pushed more US veterans to suicide, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki said.
Suicides claimed the lives of a record 309 service members last year, up from 267 in 2008, according to Pentagon numbers. The number of suicides between 2005 and 2009 — 1,100 — exceeded that of the number of US military members killed in Afghanistan since 2001.
“We have PTSD treatment going on with veterans that go back to World War II, Korea and Vietnam. So it’s a large generational issue.”