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Veterans are killing themselves at more than double the rate of the civilian population with about 49,000 taking their own lives between 2005 and 2011, according to data collected over eight months by News21.
Mary Anne Burke holds her son's dog tag after completing a 16-mile walk throughout downtown Washington, D.C. Burke's son, Raymond Matthew Burke, died by suicide in 2001 while he was on leave from his naval station. Mary Ann Burke and her husband, Raymond Burke, have participated in every Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk and plan to complete two more walks next year.  (Chase Cook/News21)Records from 48 states show the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared to a civilian rate of about 14 per 100,000. The suicide rate among veterans increased an average 2.6 percent a year from 2005 to 2011, or more than double that of the 1.1 percent civilian rate, according to News21’s analysis of states’ mortality data.
Nearly one in every five suicides nationally is a veteran — 18 to 20 percent annually — compared with Census data that shows veterans make up about 10 percent of the U.S. adult population.

Mary Anne Burke holds her son’s dog tag after completing a 16-mile walk throughout downtown Washington, D.C. Burke’s son, Raymond Matthew Burke, died by suicide in 2001 while he was on leave from his naval station. Mary Ann Burke and her husband, Raymond Burke, have participated in every Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk and plan to complete two more walks next year. (Chase Cook/News21)
“Anytime a veteran who fought our enemies abroad or helped defend America from within our borders dies by their own hand, it’s completely unacceptable,” Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., chairman of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, told an American Legion conference in Washington earlier this year. The suicide rate has remained consistently high, he said, adding that more work was needed to address gaps in veterans’ mental health care.

Read the full article at American Homecomings 
(http://www.americanhomecomings.com/news/2013/08/28/back-home-nearly-1-in-every-5-suicides-is-a-veteran/)

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