Suicide is the suspected cause of death of a Navy SEAL commander found dead over the weekend of a noncombat-related injury while serving in the southern Afghanistan province of Uruzgan.
Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., commanded Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team 4, tasked with training Afghan police on how to effectively combat attacks from the Taliban in remote areas of the county. He failed to show up for an event on Saturday and colleagues found him dead in his quarters, a U.S. military official told Reuters.
A military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that the death "appears to be the result of suicide."
The military has yet to announce the official cause of death, which is still under investigation.
"The Naval Special Warfare family is deeply saddened by the loss of our teammate," said Capt. Robert Smith, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group Two, who is responsible for overseeing all Virginia-based Navy SEAL teams. "We extend our condolences, thoughts and prayers to the family, friends, and NSW community during this time of grieving."
Price is survived by his wife and 9-year-old daughter who live in Virginia Beach.
"As we mourn the loss and honor the memory of our fallen teammate, those he served with will continue to carry out the mission," Smith said on Sunday.
The Pentagon reports that 2012 has been the worst year yet since it began tracking the number of military suicides in 2001.
As of Nov. 11, suspected or confirmed suicides among active-duty personnel in all branches reached 323, surpassing the previous high of 310 suicides recorded by the Pentagon in 2009.
Of the 323 active-duty service members who are believed to have committed suicide in 2012, 168 were soldiers, 53 were sailors, 56 were airman, and 46 were Marines.
With the number of suicides in the Army and Navy at a record high, and suicides in the Marines and Air Force higher than usual, the military suicide rate now surpasses that of society at-large, according to the Center for Deployment Psychology.
Military researchers believe the rise in suicide rates among active-duty military personnel are directly connected with the effects of combat and frequent deployments.
Failed relationships, which are often an effect of frequent deployments, are responsible for nearly 85 percent of the reported suicides, data show.
According to the Pentagon, post-traumatic stress disorder has not been a factor in a large numbers of reported suicides.
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