Since 2003, more active-duty troops have killed themselves than died in battle—nearly one every day. In addition, a U.S. veteran dies by suicide every hour now. This book examines the problem currently and throughout history. Dozens of stories are told of lives cut short, families torn apart, and dreams destroyed. Even if service members enlist with patriotic ferver, after they train for battle, and especaially if they engage in combat, many can't resume a normal life afterward. They have a new enemy to contend with—thoughts and visions of what they have seen and done. The casualties don't end when the fighting stops. This book tells how, why, and most importantly, what can be done about it.
This is an incredibly important book. John Bateson incorporates historical landmarks, cutting-edge data, and deeply textured real-life cases of suicide in the military to arrive at compelling recommendations by policy makers, military families, and mental health clinicians. Bateson is a meticulous researcher and a masterful writer. Understanding and effectively addressing military suicides begins here." —W. Brad Johnson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, U.S. Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins University
Suicide in the military is of urgent national concern, and the need for a book like this is pretty clear. The Last and Greatest Battle is a welcome addition to the literature on this topic. Bateson has had decades of experience in the field of suicide prevention and is an excellent writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone affected by military suicide, as well as those who are interested in learning what's behind the problem and how we can address it. —Thomas Joiner, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Florida State University and author of Myths About Suicide and Why People Die by Suicide