The battle against suicide in America's military

1st Battalion 8th Marines Alpha Company Credit: Reuters

Coleman Bean served two tours of duty for the US Military in Iraq. But what he witnessed there haunted him. He shot himself at home in 2008. He was 25.

Coleman Bean's mother, Linda Bean said: "I was willing to overlook changes in behaviour... It's hard to know you didn't do what you should have done... That's hard to live with."

  • In 2009 more American soldiers were lost to suicide than died in combat

  • Currently, one out of every five suicides in the US are among people who have served their country on the battlefield

  • The government takes the problem seriously but some war veterans are difficult to find to offer help

The US Government says it takes the welfare of former soldiers seriously. But the Department of Veteran Affairs says it's not always easy finding those who need help.

Latest figures show 20 per cent of serving members of the US military have been diagnosed with or report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

They also show roughly a third of US soldiers who took their own lives had never been deployed abroad.

Geraint Vincent went to the United States to find out how they are battling to prevent so many US troops becoming the 'forgotten fallen'.