army suicides rise as time spent in combat increases
from usa today: Josh Barber, former combat soldier, parked outside the Army hospital here one morning last August armed for war... "He went to Fort Lewis to kill himself to prove a point," Kelly Barber says. "'Here I am. I was a soldier. You guys didn't help me.'"... Barber's suicide is part of a larger story — the record number of soldiers, Marines and combat veterans who have killed themselves in recent years, at a time when the Pentagon has stretched deployments for combat troops to meet President Bush's security plans in Iraq. The Marine Corps reported 41 actual or suspected suicides in 2008, a 20% increase over 33 in 2007. In 2007, the Army counted 115 suicides, the most since tracking began in 1980. By October 2008, that record had been surpassed with 117 soldier suicides. Final numbers for 2008 have not been released.