Most soldiers who take their own lives today have no history of deployment. They’ve never seen combat, never been to war.
Nobody really knows why.
And although the military’s suicide problem flared during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so far it doesn’t seem to be ending with them.
About 53 percent of those who died by suicide in the military in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, had no history of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan, according (pdf) to the Defense Department. And nearly 85 percent of military members who took their lives had no direct combat history, meaning they may have been deployed but not seen action.