The number of serving and former soldiers who have committed suicide is now more than triple Australia's combat toll in Afghanistan.
Retired Major Anthony Krupa has been married for 15 years, but he was wedded to his job even longer - 18 years, including 11 deployments.
He was addicted to the work, but now it haunts him.
"Back in Bougainville, one of the locals murdered a woman and child," he said.
"[They were] massacred with a machete. That was very difficult, we weren't armed, we weren't in a position to be able to do anything.
"I do have flashbacks of the situation in Iraq in 2005. The Iraqis had detained this insurgent, they were electrocuting him. I still recall the smell of the burning flesh to this day."
On the eve of a posting in 2012, Major Krupa suffered a mental breakdown and tried to kill himself. He confesses he hit rock bottom again last month.
"I crashed that night and once again I found myself in a dark place - 4:00am, not being scared, not worrying about the future of my wife and children, and just saying, 'That's it'," he said.
As with countless veterans, the question nags: "If I'm not a soldier, who am I?"
During his time in Iraq Major Krupa brokered a multi-million-dollar arms deal and carried wads of cash in his bullet-proof vest to pay to local leaders. Now he is facing a future where his most exciting role may be as a pen-pusher.
"I did become just another number. You lose a sense of purpose, your identity," he said.
Since 2000, 96 ADF members have killed themselves. Another 13 veterans have committed suicide after leaving the ADF, and there are believed to many more unreported suicides, single motor vehicle accidents, or families that do not lodge claims.
'20 US veterans committing suicide every day'
The former commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan, Major General John Cantwell, says as international operations wind up and more soldiers present with mental health issues, Australia can expect more deaths.
"I heard some statistics from the US military, there are something like 20 US veterans committing suicide every day," Major General Cantwell said.
"Now that's a massive organisation compared to ours, and they had a different experience in some ways, but it's indicative and I've seen similar accounts from the UK so we are not alone in this, and it would be naive for Australia to think that we’re immune to these things."
Former Australian signalman Chad Dobbs is worried the ADF and Veterans Affairs do not appreciate the breadth of the problem.
He tried to overdose when he returned from Iraq and Afghanistan anxious, depressed and lost.
"What I did over there mattered," Signalman Dobbs said.
"I had a prominent job, I enjoyed what I did. When I came home all that went away. I didn’t really have any self worth anymore."
He says it is falling to the very people who tried to take their own lives to stop colleagues from doing the same.
In one case Mr Dobbs received a call from a mate who was standing on a ledge, ready to jump off.
"While he was waiting on a ledge he called to say goodbye to me," he recalled.
"Luckily I had someone else with me at the time who was able to call his duty room, his work, and got him the help that he needed."
ADF finds no link between deployment and suicide
The ADF's Joint Health Commander, Rear Admiral Robyn Walker, says it has not found a link between operational deployment and suicide.
"No-one believes that we've had more suicides in people who haven't deployed, but it’s true," she said.
"We do have, it seems, higher rates of suicidal ideation [forming ideas], and of making a plan, but less go on to complete suicide."
Dr Stephanie Hodson from Veterans Affairs points out that suicide rates mirror those in the wider civilian community.
"The bottom line is Australia has a suicide problem, especially in young males, suicide is the leading cause of death under 44," she said.
Nonetheless, the departments have been working on suicide prevention.
DVA has a mobile phone app, and a mental health website, called At Ease.
And Admiral Walker says there have been improvements in mental health literacy.
"We’ve up-skilled clinicians in suicide risk assessment and we've improved people's knowledge of where to get help and you're reducing stigma of saying you need help," she said.
But as Signalman Dobbs says, for most, admitting weakness is not an option for those who are programmed to fight.
"It does stall your career, if not halt it completely, you're less of a man, especially for the guys you're less of a man for owning up and having issues."