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500,000 GIs suffer from ‘invisible’ wounds: End the war, fund health care, veterans groups say

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:24 AM
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500,000 GIs suffer from ‘invisible’ wounds: End the war, fund health care, veterans groups say
500,000 GIs suffer from ‘invisible’ wounds: End the war, fund health care, veterans groups say

March 15, 2008

Author: Marilyn Bechtel


As the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, a rising tide of soldiers and veterans suffering psychological injuries is being adding to the nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers who have died in the war and the tens of thousands officially counted as physically wounded in action.

“Rates of mental health problems among new veterans are high and rising,” Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) said in its January 2008 issue paper, “Mental Health Injuries: The Invisible Wounds of War.” With 1.5 million service personnel having served in Iraq or Afghanistan and one in three vets expected to suffer serious psychological problems including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), IAVA says about 500,000 men and women are coming home with combat-related psychological injuries.

In addition, up to 300,000 Iraq vets have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) which may not have outward signs and may be hard to distinguish from psychological injury.

The toll on troops and their families is severe. The Army recently released figures showing that about five soldiers attempt suicide each day, up from one per day before the Iraq war started. According to IAVA, one fifth of married soldiers in Iraq say they are planning a divorce, and at least 40,000 Iraq and Afghanistan vets have been treated for substance abuse.

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http://pww.org/article/view/12680
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