Soldiers And Suicide: We All Must Know

Vets' suicide rate
CBS/The Early Show
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian told a story Tuesday evening that every American should know about.

By sifting through mountains of data, Keteyian learned that suicide rates among veterans are twice that of the rest of us. Even more disturbing, young veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are killing themselves at an even higher rate.

Keteyian's sad trip to speak to an official at the Department of Veterans Affairs said it all; the department had no idea what the soldier suicide numbers are. I urge you to explore to read or watch the full investigation.

Keteyian's findings don't completely take me by surprise. We've spent time with veterans and families of vets from the recent years of fighting. We've heard stories of people unalterably changed by their horrific experiences, and their struggles to get help. None of which is new, of course.

But what Keteyian does is tell us just how deep and widespread the pain really is.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.