For centuries, the United States of America has been deploying military men and women to go fight for the sovereignty of the country. However, when these men and women have done their duty and go back home with the hope to transition back to civilian life, the transition becomes difficult. These veterans come back home bearing physical and mental illnesses that they did not have when they first signed in to the military. Due to frequent combat exposure, veterans are physically harmed and may be left with function limitation. Similarly, the gruesome experiences of bloodshed and death they experience in the battlefield taunts their memories leaving them with psychological disorders such as depression and PTSD. The physical or mental harm can predispose the veteran to suicidal behavior. According to national statistics, about 20 veterans die every day through suicide. Though numerous organizations have been set up to help veteran deal with the trauma of combat and adequate adapt to civilian life, the number of deaths by suicide are continuously increasing. Currently, at least 6 veterans who are receiving services to help them cope with their issues of combat exposure die every day by suicide. The main purpose of this study is to determine the rates of suicides among veterans discern the risk factors that predispose the veteran to lose the will to die and commit suicide and find ways that these suicide rates can be reduced. Gender, family history of suicidal behavior, previous history of suicide and access to lethal weapons are some of the factors that elevate the risks for suicide ideations among veterans. Psychological factors, social factors, medical conditions and mental disorders are some of the reasons why suicide levels are high in the country.

Keywords: veterans, deployment, combat exposure, mental health, suicide, depression, post- traumatic stress disorder

Year Manuscript Completed

Fall 2017

Senior Project Advisor

Ms. Phyllis Teeters

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Social Sciences

Document Type