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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Horrifying Figures on the Cost of War:Mental Disease and Suicide

According to the May 5, 2008, issue of Time Magazine, the military established a suicide hotline for vets in August. An amazing 37,000 calls have been received so far.

Figures that support the need for this kind of service are also included in that issue of Time. An independent study (Rand) shows that "as many as 300,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from symptoms of depression por post-tramatic stress disorder." That about 20%! And an additional 320,000 soldiers are are on the rolls as having experienced traumatic brain injury.

In former posts I've talked about the post active duty care our soldiers are getting. The picture does not look good.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson wrote the foreword for Eric Dinyer's book of patriotic quotations, Support Our Troops, published by Andrews McMeel. Part of the proceeds for the book benefit Fisher House. Her chapbook of poetry won the Military Writers Society of America's award of excellence.


Nicole said...

These numbers do not surprise me. My father is a VietNam veteran and my grandfather a WWII veteran, and I don't think a day ever went by that they weren't completely aware that they were lucky to be alive, and perhaps felt guilty about it. My grandfather was able to love tremendously because of it. My father has been hard-pressed to survive the pain. His whole life has been a post-script to two tours of duty. My heart goes out to all veterans. I only hope that these veterans receive the care that they need.

katieseyes said...

When we begin wars, it's always with enthusiasm and expectations of triumph. The truth is that there is always an enormous human price...for everyone involved. It's not that anyone wants to leaven our young soldiers without proper's just that their needs overwhelm the system...financially, emotionally and logistically. It's always been that way...war is chaotic by its very nature. Who could have prepared for the traumas of WWI? Who expected the anxieties created by WWII? Would anyone have thought that Vietnam would last so long and wreak such havoc on so many Americans?

The problem is huge...and all of us who care about those who serve need to put time,effort, and money into solving it.

Joyce Faulkner

Kristi Holl said...

My daughter is on her second tour in Iraq right now. My husband and I teach Sunday school classes for basic trainees. The military ministry we're a part of also has programs dealing with post traumatic stress disorder for returning vets, "loving your military man" Bible studies for when separated by deployment, and other studies and programs. It is heart-breaking to hear about the families falling apart once they get home. They've given so much!