Download a video on VOAnews: ‘watch mental health report‘, Nov. 14, 2007.
The following article is published on PRESS TV, 14 Nov 2007.
IRIB English Radio has interviewed Anita Dennis, mother of an Iraq combat veteran in Connecticut, on the factors prompting US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan to commit suicide. The transcript of the interview follows:
Q: Mrs. Dennis, findings of preliminary Veterans Affairs Department research obtained by the Associated Press revealed for the first time that there were at least 283 suicides among veterans who left the military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 and the end of 2005 and a total of 147 troops have killed themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan since the start of the war. So on the whole 430 troops have killed themselves over the past six years. What is the reason in your opinion?
A: I think it is the post traumatic stress disorder coming back out of the war where you are fighting or you are not fighting in army and you are sending 19-20 year old kids off to make this decision where they have no choice and then they have to lie with their decisions.
But my son almost shot a 14 year old kid and then had to live the rest of his life with taking the life of a 14-year-old child and so I have spoken to quite a few parents that their sons have come back, committed suicide and also you know my son has been depressed and having intrusive thoughts of suicide for three years …
… Q: Are the American grassroots informed about the death toll of the US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan or they are kept in darkness?
A: We get the death toll but we feel that a lot of the death toll that we get are misrepresented and we believe there is a lot more suicide over there that are being reported. I have been in contact, working with some parents.
I believe some suicides are happening and they are not listing them suicide as the parents are feeling specially that our children have been killed. You don’t believe that we are getting true stories on it. So I don’t know that the numbers we are getting aren’t as accurate as the way our children are being killed over there. (full interview text).
America suffers an epidemic of suicides among traumatised army veterans, November 15, 2007;
Later US Army test finds more mental health issues, Nov 13, 2007;
all actual other 191 articles on this subject on Google-news;
US soldier suicides at highest level for 26 years, August 16, 2007.