Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Many Who Served, 10 Years After

"If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

The Health of U.S. Soldiers 10 Years After the Invasion of Iraq
March 20, 2013 - Following a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of combat vets are returning home with mental and physical scars.

As a decade of combat in Iraq draws to a close and thousands of troops return home from the battlefields of Afghanistan, we must consider the toll that more than a decade of combat has taken on the minds and bodies of the soldiers serving the U.S.

A 2009 report by the military-funded RAND Corporation reveals that 14 percent—or 340,000—of post-9/11 combat veterans exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Moreover, 267,000 cases of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, have been diagnosed in young veterans since 2000, according to the Department of Defense, though the majority of these injuries occurred in non-deployment settings. read more

RAND Study
Invisible Wounds of War Project
Since October 2001, approximately 1.6 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. Early evidence suggests that many returning service members may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Traumatic brain injury is also a major concern. But there is limited evidence about the scope of the problem or the most effective treatments.

RAND assessed the post-deployment health-related needs associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and traumatic brain injury; examined the treatment capacity of the current health care system, and estimated the costs of providing quality health care to all military members who need it. The work was funded by a grant from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund Project, which is administered by the California Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

Details of RAND's study are described in Invisible Wounds of War: Psychological and Cognitive Injuries, Their Consequences, and Services to Assist Recovery. to read the studies>>>

"We are dealing with veterans, not procedure; with their problems, not ours." General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

Battling PTSD: Although at home, a deeper war continues for some vets
Mar 21, 2013 - War can change a person. Not everyone will see combat or be affected as much as others, but many veterans experience things that aren’t easily erased from the mind.

“PTSD is a normal human reaction to an abnormal situation,” said Daniel Guider, an Iraq veteran and student at Montana State University. “You can’t rewrite the brain, but you can accept and understand.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, has been around for years, but goes by different names. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the notion of PTSD got formal psychiatric recognition, Dr. Dudley Blake said. Blake is the psychologist for the PTSD unit at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Fort Harrison.

The medical community has come a long way in terms of assessment and treatment, he said. Some veterans don’t like the inclusion of “disorder” in the name, but in most cases, it’s stuck in the popular vernacular. read more>>>

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

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