5 apparent suicides of JBLM soldiers since July 1

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (AP) -- Five soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord have died in apparent suicides since the first of July.

The Seattle Times reports (http://bit.ly/qH2Rpd ) they are part of an Army-wide surge in suicides despite stepped-up prevention efforts.

The Army suicide rate has nearly doubled during a decade of frequent deployments to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

During the first seven months of 2011, the Army investigated 109 deaths throughout the service that may have been suicides, compared with 91 during the same time period in 2010.

Nine soldiers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord took their own lives in 2010. In the first seven months of this year, nine deaths are under investigation as suicides, including the five in July.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com