The recent combat deaths of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken in Somalia, and Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar and Sgts. Joshua P. Rodgers and Cameron H. Thomas in Afghanistan, are the most visible indications of the price U.S. Special Operations Forces are paying at the sharp end of the spear.
But with such a high operational tempo there are also wounds unseen — to both the operators and their families.
The good news is that while suicide continues to be a major concern for the Defense Department and Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of commandos taking their own lives is on the decline, according to officials from U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base.