A Fort Benning spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday authorities are investigating the suspected suicides of two soldiers.
Though little is being released about the deaths, Brenda Donnell with post public affairs said one of the possible suicides occurred in July and the other this month. Both are still under investigation.
So far this year there have been three confirmed suicides by Fort Benning soldiers, Donnell said.
This news comes on the heels of the Aug. 13 release of the Army’s suicide data for July. Among active duty soldiers, there were eight potential suicides last month, the report says. In June, the Army reported no confirmed suicides and nine potential suicides among active duty soldiers.
Since the June report, four of the nine potential suicides have been confirmed as suicides, while five remain under investigation.
From January to July there were 96 reported active duty Army suicides. Sixty-two of those have been confirmed, and 34 are pending determination of manner of death. For the same period in 2008, there were 79 suicides among active duty soldiers.
There were four potential suicides in July among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, the Army’s report says.
From January through July, there were 17 confirmed suicides and 28 potential suicides among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty.
In that same group, for the same period in 2008, there were 32 suicides.
“Although suicide can impact anyone, we’re finding that male soldiers, in combat-arms occupational specialties, between ages 18 and 27 are more vulnerable,” said Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, on the U.S. Department of Defense Web site. “That’s why we’re looking at existing programs and other institutional safety nets to see what works, and what needs to be changed to enhance the support network.”
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance should contact Military OneSource or the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center. Trained consultants are available from both organizations 24 hours a day.
The Military OneSource toll-free number for those living in the continental U.S. is 1-800-342-9647, their Web site address is www.militaryoncesource.com. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource Web site for dialing instructions for their specific location.
On Fort Benning, struggling soldiers and families can get help at Martin Army Community Hospital 706-544-1502 or through the duty chaplain 706-545-2218.