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The Boston Globe

Nation

Military suicides reach record 349 in 2012

WASHINGTON — Suicides in the US military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private researchers predict the dark trend will worsen this year.

The Pentagon has struggled to deal with the suicides, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and others have called an epidemic. The problem reflects severe strains on military personnel burdened with more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, complicated by anxiety over the prospect of being forced out of a shrinking force.

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