Suicides in the Marine Corps highest in 10 years

Matt Saintsing
January 28, 2019 - 1:23 pm

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Andy O. Martinez

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Marines are no strangers to combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, in recent years. But one enemy is, unfortunately, proving to be a formidable adversary: suicide. 

75 Marines took their own life in 2018; 57 on active duty and 18 in the reserves, according to Marine Corps suicide data provided to ConnectingVets. 

US Marine Corps

Suicide in the Corps has been slowly on the rise, and last year saw the most number of Marines who took their lives in nearly a decade. 

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Among active-duty Marines last year, 44 suicides have been verified, and 13 are suspected (although unconfirmed) by the Armed Forces Medical Examiners System. The Corps’ data does not include Marines in the Individual Ready Reserve, veterans or retirees, or sailors assigned to Marine units. 

“No one goes through life without dealing with stress and pain, which is why we continue to resource and grow programs to address mental health and the growing problem of suicide, both within our active duty Marines as well as our veterans,” writes Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller in a message to the force Friday. “But we have to continue to do better.” 

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He urges any Marine to speak up if they need help, and notes that the Corps “prides ourselves of taking care of our own.” 

Before considering suicide, Neller says to “consider the lasting impact on your family, friends, and unit—none of whom will ever truly recover.”

 “Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem that can be resolved with the help of your teammates.” 

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are helpful, qualified VA responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. 

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