AUBURN, CA - While the nation struggles to reverse the growing trend of soldiers committing suicide, a Natomas veteran is crediting a local prevention program with saving his life.
Everyday in America, one active duty soldier commits suicide. And every 80 minutes, one veteran takes his or her own life, according to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control. There has been an 18-percent increase in suicides among U.S. active duty troops in 2012, compared with 2011. The army reports there's no way to accurately gauge how well their suicide prevention programs are working, but it contends the rate would be four times as high today without intervention.
Natomas resident Jonathan Cullifer, a 17-year combat veteran who fought in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Bosnia among other countries, could have been one of those statistics.