An investigative series by Will Huntsberry
Photos by Ariana Drehsler and Miranda Alam

The suicide crisis among veterans has been well documented. But another dark phenomenon exists just beneath the surface in San Diego and across the country.

A new analysis by Voice of San Diego shows just how much young active-duty service members are dying by suicide at alarming rates.

Young men, 25 and under, are nearly twice as likely to die by suicide as their civilian peers.

These young men, by and large, have not seen combat. In many cases, they take their own lives on military bases, where they are surrounded by people who understand what it’s like to be in the military and where they are supposed to have direct access to services.

At Camp Pendleton, for instance, at least 20 people took their own lives while living in barracks at the base over a six-year period.

The trend is even more grave for young women.

Women in the armed forces aged 17-30 are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as civilian women in the same age bracket.

In this investigative series, Voice of San Diego unveils troubling trends and new revelations about military mental health.

If you or someone you know might be considering suicide, please call: 988.




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