The U.S. Army predicts suicides among soldiers this year will top last years numbers.
As of Nov. 16, 140 active duty soldiers are believed to have died of self-inflicted wounds, Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli revealed Tuesday.
That's the total number confirmed for all of 2008.
If any more suicides are reported by December, 2009 would be the fifth straight year the Army suicide rate has increased.
"We are almost certainly going to end the year higher than last year," Chiarelli said. "This is horrible, and I do not want to downplay the significance of these numbers in any way." he said.
The Army, however, did report a recent decline in the pace of suicides.
Army officials say the decline is due to new suicide prevention programs launched in March 2009.