The Senate Armed Services Committee meets today to discuss prevention of suicides within the U.S. armed forces. Suicide is the second-biggest killer of U.S. Marines; this year, 55 Marines have been killed in combat, while 21 have taken their own lives. The U.S. Army faces an equally large problem, with 245 members taking their own lives in 2009. We're looking at efforts to drive those numbers down and the devastation wrought by the suicide of a loved one.
Mary Gallagher is the surviving widow of Marine Gunnery Sgt. James F. Gallagher, who took his life in 2006, eight months after he returned from Iraq. She says a renewed focus on mental health in the military has been beneficial to some extent. "Now, the screening process is a little bit longer," she says. "They've extended the processing period for them when they come back. I think people are more comfortable reaching out and asking for help." Mary is now a program coordinator for Hope for the Warriors.