The Majority of Veteran Suicides Are 50 and Older – We Still Don’t Know Why

On July 7, the Veterans Health Administration released new data about veteran suicides, based upon the examination of over 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014, from every state in the nation and U.S. territories. While much of the buzz around veteran suicide has focused on veterans emerging out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this new report showed that 65 percent of all veterans who died from suicide in 2014 were 50 years of age or older. In fact, 45 percent of veteran suicides in 2014 were aged 60 and older. These are deeply disturbing statistics, especially for those of us in the Vietnam cohort. As the executive director of the Veterans Health Council at Vietnam Veterans of America, veteran suicide is one of my professional and personal interests ever since losing a team member to suicide while on a mission together in northern I Corps, Vietnam.


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