[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/31/art.iraq3.ap.jpg caption=" U.S Army Soldiers."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Some very troubling statistics when it comes to our troops. The number of suicides in the Army jumped by as much as 20% in 2007, with officials saying that as many as 121 soldiers committed suicide.
In fact, about 25% of the suicides happened in Iraq. And, it's expected that the number of suicides by active duty troops may reach an all-time high for last year.
This report also shows a significant increase in the number of attempted suicides and self-injuries. There were 2,100 last year, more than six times as many as the 350 attempts in 2002, the year before the war in Iraq began.
The Army says the "main indicators" for suicides are failed personal relationships, legal and financial problems and job stress. They found the number of days troops are deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan contributes to that stress.
It's probably no coincidence then that the Pentagon last year extended tours of duty from 12 months to 15 months, and that some troops have been sent back into the war zone several times.
Troop surveys in Iraq have shown that 20% of Army soldiers have signs of post-traumatic stress, including flashbacks. About 35% of soldiers are getting some kind of mental health treatment a year after returning home.
Another tragic side effect of this war.
Here’s my question to you: What should the Army do about a sharp rise in the suicide rate of soldiers?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Janet from Columbus, Georgia writes:
The most important thing we can do is to elect a president who has pledged to end the war. And that ain't John McCain.
War is hell, and will take its toll on even the mightiest hearts and most resolute spirits. We need to provide our servicemen and servicewomen with adequate mental health care at home and overseas. Though we live in an age of stop-lossing, we have to do something besides just pointing out at the battlefield with the command, "Back to the front lines!" They deserve far more for their already too-great sacrifices.
Donald from Butte, Montana writes:
Since only about 30% of Americans, probably all die-hard Republicans, support continuing the war, send them to Iraqi/Afghanistan as replacements. This includes all the senators, congressmen, and Pentagon staff as well. While we're at it, send the Secretary of Defense to Baghdad. If all these so-called 'patriots' truly support this cause, then let them put their lives on the line!
David from San Bernardino, California writes:
There have been suicides in every war in our history. When you send someone out to kill another human being for God knows what reason it is going to affect a soldier in some way. Everyone in combat has seen horrific and sub-human things that they want to forget, but can't. The problem now is that the soldiers keep being sent back over and over in a war without end. When I was in during Vietnam, you only had to serve one tour and that was it... A human being can only take so much.
Bev from Miami writes:
Admit we need the draft and stop the lying. Make McCain a general and send him over there to help with his war stance.
Bring them home. Now.