Your Questions About Veteran Suicides (NYT)
Since coming back from Afghanistan in 2008, the hard-hit Second Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment has struggled to adjust. The battalion lost 20 men in war. In the years since, it has lost 13 more to suicide. The battalion now has a suicide rate 14 times that for all Americans.
The Department of Veterans Affairs does not track combat units over time, so it cannot spot high suicide rates. Neither does the military. And individuals from the battalion have said they felt frustrated at the level of care they have received from the V.A. Feeling left on their own, they have tried to fashion their own safety net, looking out for one another.
The New York Times has asked Dr. Charles Engel of the RAND Corporation and two Marines who served with the battalion in Afghanistan, Art Karell and Keith Branch, to answer readers’ questions about the devastating effects of combat, and the effectiveness of traditional and alternative treatments.
Our experts will take questions starting on Wednesday. Their responses will be moderated by Dave Philipps, a Times reporter who covers veterans’ affairs, and we will post answers on a rolling basis until Friday.
Submit a question in a comment on this article, or in an email to Mr. Philipps.