Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins and Patricia Kime originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Three sailors assigned to the same ship died in apparent suicides in the last week, leaving some asking what more leaders can do to support troops as the military grapples with rising rates of self-inflicted deaths.

Chief Electronics Technician Nuclear James Shelton and Airman Ethan Stuart died of apparent suicides on Sept. 19 in separate off-base incidents, said Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, with Naval Air Force Atlantic. Both were assigned to the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, which is undergoing maintenance in Virginia.

Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Vincent Forline, who was also assigned to the Bush, was found dead in an apparent suicide five days prior.

"My heart is broken," Capt. Sean Bailey, the Bush's commanding officer, said in a Facebook post Monday. "... We need All Hands to engage by bringing forward your suggestions and ideas for how we can work together to prevent another suicide. I want to reiterate that there is never any stigma or repercussion from seeking help."

Shelton, Stuart and Forline were the third, fourth and fifth Bush crew members to die by suicide in the last two years. Navy officials say there's no apparent connection between the three. The sailors did not serve in the same departments, Cragg said.

But others argue there is a connection: their command.

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