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American flags that were planted on the National Mall in 2018, each of them represents a veteran or a service member who died by suicide that year. Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The suicide rate among active duty military members and veterans who have served since 9/11 is approximately four times as high as the number of those killed in post-9/11 war operations, according to a Brown University study.

Why it matters: Researchers found that while suicide rates in the U.S. has been increasing for the past 20 years, "among active military personnel and veterans of the post-9/11 wars, the suicide rate is even higher, outpacing average Americans."

By the numbers: The research estimates that 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans have died by suicide, compared to the 7,057 "killed in post-9/11 war operations."

The state of play: The study said that the high suicide rates were due to different reasons, "some inherent to fighting in a war and others unique to America’s 'war on terror' framework." They included:

  • Military personnel's exposure to trauma, stress, training, gun access and the common strain for veterans to reintegrate into normal life.
  • The study also points out that it is important to consider that service members are taught to feel a high "moral responsibility or blameworthiness" for actions that are often out of their control.

Worth noting: Many who died by suicide did not serve combat roles, "suggesting that the problems that led to their suicides went beyond many of the often-cited causes," the New York Times writes.

The bottom line: "High suicide rates mark the failure of the U.S. government and U.S. society to manage the mental health costs of our current conflicts," the study found.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: dial 711 then 1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Go deeper

Sep 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Remains of Marine killed by bomb in Afghanistan return home on 9/11

U.S. Marine Sgt. Alice Ward stands at attention as the hearse carrying fallen Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario passes in Stoneham, Massachusetts, on Saturday. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Hundreds of people in Lawrence, Massachusetts, turned out to honor U.S. Marine Sgt. Johanny Rosario, one of 13 U.S. troops killed in an Afghanistan bombing last month, as her remains arrived home Saturday, per Reuters.

The big picture: State Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Kim Janey and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) were among those paying respects when Rosario's casket arrived at Boston's Logan International Airport on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.

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