By Patricia Kime
The Army experienced a record 38 suicides in July, the highest monthly total since the service began releasing monthly figures in 2009.
According to an Army report, 26 active-duty soldiers and 12 Army National Guard or Army Reserve members were suspected of or confirmed to have died by suicide.
The soldiers included a 21-year-old air traffic controller who shot himself in his Fort Wainright, Alaska, barracks; a 26-year-old captain who died at an indoor firing range in Virginia, and a 29-year-old sergeant who had deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three soldiers died at their own hands on deployment, and 13 had deployed at least once. But nine had never seen combat, according to the Army.
All were men, and three-fourths were in paygrades E-3 through E-5.
The deaths bring the total number of suspected suicides by soldiers to 187 for the year: 116 on active duty and 71 nonmobilized Guard or Reserve members. The previous record for a single month was 33 in July 2011.