A new report from the Rand Corporation shows that 300,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from mental illness.
The co-leader of the study by the Rand Corporation, Terri Tanielian, calls the situation "a major health crisis" that could have "long-term consequences" if it is not addressed. Among her findings are that only about half of the Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, depression and traumatic brain injury have sought treatment, and only half of those received adequate treatment.
Shooting at people is hard enough as it is. But when soldiers who are about to get sent home are told that they're going to be redeployed, is it any wonder that our troops are suffering from depression and PTSD?
Tanielian's 500-page study - based on interviews with 1,900 service members - says mental health problems are particularly prominent among combat veterans who are women or members of the reserves.
The military has said mental health problems are particularly acute among troops assigned to long and multiple deployments to war zones, as many U.S. combat brigades have been.
This war has gone on too long. It time to bring the troops home. And more than that, it's time to start taking care of the soldiers when they get back. It's appalling that military recruiters approach high school students with promises of college scholarships in return for enlisting, and then those kids find out that the GI Bill today isn't what is was back in the 1950s. (This assumes, of course, that these kids make it back alive. The official count of US soldiers killed in Iraq is 4037. The number of civilian casualties is 1,199,782 as of April 14th.)
When the troops come home, what will they be coming home to? Inadequate health care and the inability to get a civilian job? For all we've been talking about marriage rights for the LGBTQ community, I don't see how we can say that ending the war in Iraq isn't the #1 priority.