US Soldier Commits Suicide After Serving Several Tours in Afghanistan
- July, 11, 2020 - 08:41
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Another US Army soldier committed suicide after serving 6 full tours in Afghanistan and six more combat tours overseas, continuing a trend of high suicide rates that have plagued the US armed force for at least eleven years.
Master Sgt. Andrew 'Andy' Christian Marckesano, who had just moved to Washington, DC, to start a job at the Pentagon, on July 6 killed himself in front of his wife, Fox News reported on Friday.
The deceased man had three small children and was still on active duty.
Some of his friends, family, and military leaders said that Marckesano was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his tour in Afghanistan's Arghandab Valley in 2009, where his lot of fellow soldiers were killed in combat.
“That deployment was like being in the ring with Mike Tyson for a year,” according to the 2-508 battalion’s former Command Sgt Major Bert Puckett.
Marckesano’s suicide is one of the 20 combat veterans taking their lives each day.
America's perpetual engagement in overseas wars and the lack of adequate care for veterans returning home are frequently cited as the main reasons behind such alarming suicide figures.
US troops have been at war since 2001 in Afghanistan and fought in the Iraq war from 2003 to 2011.
The number of US military veterans who know someone who has died by suicide or considered harming themselves both increased significantly in recent years, according to an annual membership survey of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released in March.
More than two-thirds have said they know at least one post-9/11 veteran who has attempted suicide.
The Pentagon reported that 541 service members died by suicide in 2018, up from 511 in 2017 and 482 in 2016, according to a report released in September.
Suicide rates for active-duty troops, which specialists say more accurately reflect trends, increased from 18.5 to 24.8 per 100,000 service members from 2013 to 2018.
Service members who die by suicide are mostly male, white and under the age of 30, said Karin Orvis, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office.
The New York Times has reported that suicide has been deadlier than combat for the military, citing congressional testimony from Rand Corp. researcher Terri Tanielian.
Suicides in the US military have become an epidemic that the Pentagon and White House are trying to stop.