Suicide US Marine served twice in Iraq

A US Marine wanted by the Army for absconding from his unit and who killed himself after crossing the border into Canada, had served two terms in Iraq, officials said today.

A US Marine wanted by the Army for absconding from his unit and who killed himself after crossing the border into Canada, had served two terms in Iraq, officials said today.

Timothy Scott, 22, turned a gun on himself on Thursday at his mother’s home near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.

A statement released by the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina today said Scott had been deployed to Iraq for eight months in 2007 and for seven months in 2008.

The Marine rifleman, who was assigned to headquarters and the support battalion at Camp Lejeune, had joined the Marine Corps in 2005, said the statement.

Police said Scott, who left his unit around February 10, entered into Canada from Woodstock, New Brunswick, on February 11. He arrived at his mother’s home the next day, where he initially threatened her before turning the gun on himself, said RCMP Staff Sergeant Mark Furey.

The handgun the soldier used had been reported stolen from the Norfolk home, the sergeant added.

Scott’s death represents a larger trend of rising rates of suicides in the US Army as the strained forces wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army had its highest rate of suicide on record in 2008 and is investigating a spike in the number in January.

The US Military Academy at West Point in New York recently addressed the growing rate of suicides after four cadets took their own lives earlier this month. In the past seven months, two cadets, a faculty member and a staff member at the academy have taken their own lives at the school.

Top Veterans Affairs Committee Senators Daniel Akaka and Richard Burr have asked Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to convene a meeting to address military suicides.

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