It has been well documented that US military servicemen and women have been committing suicide at alarming rates, but now it appears that their motivation may not be entirely due to the terrible things they’ve seen and done: for some of them, it’s for the money. Alan Zarembo reports for the LA Times:
Army Spc. James Christian Paquette walked into the benefits office at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, with a question: Did his military life insurance policy pay in cases of suicide? He was assured that it did.
Less than two weeks later, he shot and killed himself — and his family collected $400,000.
His widow struggles with the question of whether he would have proceeded with his plan if suicide had not been covered. “He just wanted to know we would be provided for,” Jami Calahan said. “It may have been a weight taken away.”
The role of life insurance has not been closely examined in the quest to understand why 352 active-duty service members took their own lives last year — more than double the number a decade earlier.
The suicide rate began rising sharply in 2005. That same year, as casualties mounted in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Congress raised the standard coverage from $250,000 to $400,000, which most service members carry. If they die on active duty, their families also receive a $100,000 “death gratuity.”…
[continues in the LA Times]