Report: Suicides on Alaska military bases spiking in 2021 - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, July 24, 2021
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Report: Suicides on Alaska military bases spiking in 2021

 Six soldiers stationed in Alaska have died by suicide between January and May of 2021, a surprising statistic, considering the U.S. Army spent more than $200 million in Alaska to address a mental health crisis that it identified in 2019, according to USA TODAY.

“The 2021 suicide toll among the roughly 11,500 soldiers stationed there already has nearly matched last year when seven soldiers died by suicide while stationed with U.S. Army Alaska, whose principal posts are Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage,” the newspaper wrote.

In a survey of 4,000 soldiers, 10.8 percent had had suicidal ideas, according to the newspaper. That’s four times the general U.S. rate of suicide.

The survey also found that soldiers at Fort Wainwright report having trouble sleeping, worry about being able to buy high-quality food to eat, worried about finances, and a third of the soldiers said their leaders tolerate hazardous drinking while the soldiers are off duty.

 Alaska had the second highest suicide rate in the nation in 2019. But the Army was seeing problems with a cluster of slides at Fort Wainwright from 2014 and 2019.

Read more at USA TODAY.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • As for the worry and hazardous drinking alcoholic beverages that’s something people can control. Even if they weren’t a soldier, they more likely will still have a problem with excessive worry and alcohol. As for high quality food to eat, what are they requesting? What about the way families started eating microwave dinners and stovetop packaged dinners in the 80s and 90s. This not very healthy and generations are and enjoyed the quickie meals. What about newly wed couples surviving off things like canned beans, lentils, and rice?
    The only thing that needs changing is their own attitude.
    They have so much going well for themselves.

  • Nothing that more official muticulturalism, enforced diversity, neomarxism and “social justice” (sic) can’t cure, I’m sure.

  • Not doing the math, but I bet it’s close to the national average. Sorry you pumped a bunch of money into a minor problem and increased it. 🤠Who could have predicted this?

  • God bless these soldiers, and their families

  • The sad fact is suicide among veterans was being widely talked about before Don Young got involved at the request of the parents. Who child took their life. 22 is 2 many were being talked about on social media recognize by many veterans groups
    In Alaska and across the nation no one seems to give a Flock about it till Don Young made inquires
    Before you all start sounding off I am a Veteran At times I have had my struggles and my concern for fellow Vets who are struggling.
    Only a Vet can understand the struggle the walk of another Vet
    Brother Sister if your not in a good place reach out. If you a brother or sister who knows of one struggling reach out. Cover their six

  • This is caused by spiritual influence of a dark nature, please send prayers to these soldiers for protection.

  • Struggler here too. Over 10 years now. oif/oef. The physical toll is catching up and not mixing well with the struggle. So few actually care but some do and they are the best. All others can pass out face down in a 3″ puddle. I step over and just keep walking.

  • WTHDYK Your statement shows your ignorance Jen.

  • My youngest son just got to his first duty station at Fort Wainright two days ago. I truly hope that he can handle whatever misery the place seems to have going on.However, I’m optimistic, being a military brat and having moved many times throughout his childhood, he’s always had a positive outlook on things.
    I hope he and everyone stationed there can find the beauty in Alaska and make the best of their chance to be able to experience such a once in a lifetime opportunity.
    May all of you be blessed with piece of mind and happiness!

  • Thank you, will do.

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