Congress and the Biden administration must establish an annual National Warrior Call Day to draw attention to those service members and vets who may be disconnected from family, friends and support systems and who may need help.
The day, which is planned for Sunday, Nov. 21., would mark a coast-to-coast call to action to connect with vets and service members. It asks that all Americans -- especially active duty and retired military personnel – make contact and call someone who has worn or is currently wearing the uniform, let them know you care and connect them with support.
Too many of these individuals die by suicide. They are perilously disconnected from others and are not availing themselves of state or federal services. As a result, the U.S. still struggles with a troubling rise in suicides among active-duty military personnel and veterans, the latter of which outpaces the rate among the public.
- In fact, after adjusting for sex and age, veteran suicide was 27.5 per 100,000 individuals in 2018, up from 25.8 per 100,000 in 2016. By comparison, among all U.S. adults, the suicide rate per 100,000 people was 18.3.
- To put things into perspective, more U.S. vets have died by suicide in the last 10 years than service members who died from combat in Vietnam.
- At the same time, a total of 377 current service members died by suicide in 2020. That number is up from 348 last year. Active-duty suicides have been steadily increasing since 2016 when there were 280.