by Angela Lu Fulton
Posted 1/14/13, 03:30 pm
Suicides in the U.S. military hit a record 349 last year, far exceeding the 295 American combat deaths in Afghanistan. Experts believes the problem reflects strains on Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and societal problems, including difficulty finding jobs and relationship struggles.
In what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called an “epidemic,” the number of suicides in the military has increased since 2006, soaring to a then-record 310 in 2009. The number leveled off for two years before jumping to 349 this year, up from 301 last year.