CBS Report Leads to Congressional Comment

By Chris Ariens 

CBS News’ five-month investigation into military suicides could lead to congressional hearings on the matter. Armen Keteyian and his investigative team found that 6,256 Americans who served in the military committed suicide in 2005, that’s about 120 suicides a week. The second of Keteyian’s two-part series airs tonight on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Last night’s story, which because of limited commercials was about five minutes in length, led one Senator to comment during a Congressional hearing into VA issues.

“I have a comment on the CBS report on what they are calling the veteran suicide epidemic. The report that the rate of suicide among veterans is double that of the general population is not only deeply troubling to me but simply unacceptable…in light of the grim news in the CBS story I hope that the sense of urgency which has guided the committee’s extensive action on mental health issues this session will continue.”

— Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) Hawaii

Another Senator spoke about the CBS report this afternoon…

“CBS should be commended for pushing past the Administration’s stonewalling and digging to find these numbers. The Administration told the network that even the VA hadn’t counted the nationwide numbers. Mr. President, these findings are sad, they’re horrifying, and they should be preventable.”

— Sen. Patty Murray (D) Washington