Deaths of USS George H.W. Bush sailors puts spotlight on recent suicides

4 Navy sailors from same ship died by suicide
4 Navy sailors from same ship died by suicide... 01:33

For immediate help if you are in a crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All calls are confidential. 

Washington — The U.S. Navy is investigating a series of suicides among the crew of the same aircraft carrier. There have been four since July.

According to investigators, on September 19, 38-year-old James Shelton was discovered in his vehicle, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. Ethan Stuart, 19, took his life on the very same day. Five days earlier, Vincent Forline's death was also ruled a suicide

All three served on the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, based in Norfolk, Virginia. Shelton's wife, Jennifer, said she thought he beat his depression.

"I know it felt dark where he was but he was just so close to getting better," she said.

The Navy said the suicides, which didn't happen on the ship, were not connected. The ship's commanding officer said, "there is never any stigma or repercussions from seeking help."

Still, Jennifer Shelton said her husband was afraid he'd lose his job if he revealed his illness.

"As a father of six, he needed every dollar he was making. So he was concerned about taking medication for his depression because he needed his paycheck," she said.

In July, a fourth sailor from that ship took his life. Increasing incidents of suicide have become a problem across the military. Three hundred and twenty-five active duty members died by suicide in 2018, which is the highest number to date.