New research by the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University was released on June 21. It revealed that there have been over 30,000 suicides by American soldiers and veterans since 2001. That is more than four times the number of those killed in post-9/11 combat operations. 7,057 members of the U.S. military have been killed in combat since 2001. According to Brown University’s Costs of War Project, an estimated 30,177 veterans and service members have killed themselves over the last twenty years. Activist Post reports that the findings were compiled from interviews, government data and secondary literature. The VA 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report revealed the suicide rate of veterans to be 1.5 times higher than the general population. This rate is likely a conservative one because, unlike earlier reports, the V.A. only counts veterans who were federally activated, leaving out Reservists and National Guardsmen who were not federally activated, Costs of War Project Report, Brown University, via Activist Post. Between 2011 and 2020, an estimated 1,193 National Guard members and 1,607 Reservists have died by suicide. Data is not available for the first decade after 9/11. The report found that since 2001, 5,116 active duty service members have died by suicide. As we come closer to the twentieth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, we must reflect on the mental health cost of the Global War on Terror, Costs of War Project Report, Brown University, via Activist Post. The human cost for our veterans and service members far outweighs even the most crippling financial costs we have endured to send them to war, Costs of War Project Report, Brown University, via Activist Post
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