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Legion National Commander Aims to Cut Suicide Rate to ‘Zero’

July 7, 2016

American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett released a statement today concerning veteran suicide rates in response to a comprehensive analysis released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“The physical and mental injuries that many of our warriors endure are unique to our community, and we applaud VA for making this study a priority,” said Barnett. “The American Legion will continue to work with the VA and our veterans through our Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury Committee to reduce these tragedies. Like the VA, we aim to reduce the military veteran suicide rate to zero,” Barnett concluded.

The fact sheet from the analysis shows finalized statistics from all 50 states of 55 million veteran records from 1979 to 2014. The analysis concluded that in 2014 an average of 20 veterans a day committed suicide and approximately 65 percent of all suicides in 2014 were ages 50 years or older.

If you, or someone you know is having trouble and may be thinking that suicide is an option, please call the VA's 24/7 suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. You may also chat online at, or send a text message to 838255.

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with 2.2 million members in more than 13,000 posts across America. The Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


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