300,000 Afghanistan & Iraq Vets Suffer from PTSD


Approximately 300,000 returning Iraq and Afghanistan war vets — a number equivalent to nearly 25% of America’s active duty military — suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
While Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki has just announced streamlined procedures to help these veterans secure support services, this long term social “cost” is staggering.
— Steve Clemons


10 comments on “300,000 Afghanistan & Iraq Vets Suffer from PTSD

  1. David says:

    “Why do the deficit hawks never mention the high
    costs of caring for these poor shell shock victims”
    For one thing, those folk do not think we should, because there should be no such thing as ptsd, since it is not supposed to bother one to maim, torture, kill for “God and country.” A wuss’s mental problems are his own fault, by their reasoning, not the responsibility of the country that simply sent them off to do God’s work in the killing fields.
    And the military is going to courtmartial the kid who dared to provide that footage of the incident of ruthless American war atrocities. Also, society hardly rewarded the two courageous Americans who stopped the My Lai massacre.
    I hope Obama and Shinseki can actually increase support for and treatment of ptsd victims. But recognition of ptsd requires recognition of what is actually happening in Iraq and Afghanistan, good luck with that.


  2. jcrickett says:

    and note the complete silence from the #41 warmongers who are the direct cause of virtually all these 300,000 who now suffer from PTSD.
    their dark lies and deceitful ways will be eternally marked forever.
    our country is not safer — in fact just the opposite — because of these madmen.


  3. Don Bacon says:

    The VA, even given Secretary Eric Shinseki’s good intentions, has a poor record of treating vets. The Gulf War vets have suffered needlessly, for one example. The states, upon which most of these mentally disabled people must rely, have poor mental health capabilities.
    “PTSD is persistent, recurring, latent, and largely untreatable.”
    They’ll be out on the street, many of them, the ones who survive physically, or at freeway off-ramps with cups, ‘wounded warriors’ who are victims of America’s unique military programs, people who can’t cope with the immense immoral destruction that is now an accepted part of US foreign policy.
    Who’s next — Iran? Pakistan? China, even? Bring ’em on. There’s no end of potential targets.


  4. DonS says:

    . . . PTSD is persistent, recurring, latent, and largely untreatable. Of course symptommatic treatment with meds is quite often the result, and often a route to other problems. Self medication of symptoms with ‘illicit’ drugs and alcohol is often the case. Male denial of symptoms and reluctance to seek treatment is another problem.
    As with other medical issues, the military will often seek to muster out the soldier who can’t perform duty . . . and before they become an obvious financial drag on the system. Many fall through the cracks, wind up in care of other systems, if they get any care at all. Some wind up at the VA.
    Considering the cost of these stupid wars, it’s pretty immoral not to address the implications of PTSD, isn’t it?


  5. Bart says:

    Why do the deficit hawks never mention the high
    costs of caring for these poor shell shock victims?


  6. karenk says:

    going from functioning in one kind of world(Iraq and Afghanistan) to functioning in another (USA) takes quite a bit of adjustment and returning vets need all of our support, help and patience. Another problem with untreated PTSD is (as stats show) those with PTSD are the cause of much violence in the US once they return…


  7. Don Bacon says:

    Orrin Gorman McClellan grew up among the alder and cedar that cover his family’s 11-acre homestead on Whidbey Island. He relished painting, music and acting, playing the star role of Toad in a local production of “The Wind in the Willows.”
    After graduating from high school, without informing his parents, McClellan signed up for three years of active duty. He served in Afghanistan, where he lost friends to enemy bullets, picked up the body parts of blown-up soldiers and wrestled with the emotions unleashed by combat missions.
    In the fall of 2006, McClellan left the Army and came back to his Western Washington island and a strong support network eager to help him rebuild his life. But family and friends were not enough to save him. This year, on May 18, McClellan took his life with a handgun.
    The rate of suicide among young veterans (in their early 20


  8. The Pessimist says:

    They are double stacking foot soldiers at Arlington in anonymous graves, and have been for decades!
    What does that say to you about military concern for its troops.


  9. Don Bacon says:

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. People with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.
    It’s not difficult to imagine that US Marines (under the command of General Mattis) who during the rape of Fallujah shot at anyone who ventured out into the open, executed families waving white flags, shot others while trying to swim across the Euphrates or otherwise flee the city, shot at ambulances, raided homes and killed people who didn’t understand English and rolled over injured people with tanks — it’s hard to imagine that these people have not been touched by PTSD. Just as one example, that is.
    There is no free lunch. Shock and awe cut both ways. But these poor folks, used up and spit out by their government, have a new moniker — wounded warriors.
    And now, the conflict in Afghanistan is “America’s war,” not a war of President Barack Obama’s choosing, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has proclaimed. I thought Obama’s whole shtick was that Iraq was the wrong war and Afghanistan, neglected by Bush, was the right war. And now Obama’s war is America’s war?
    “Well, since there are men and women, fathers and daughters, sons and daughters, cousins and uncles, everybody


  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And six more died yesterday in Afghanistan, fighting a war that the DC elitist ruling class’s children will never fight, for reasons that no one seems to be capable of honestly describing.
    And blogs like this one herald the ascension of “intellectual” monsters like Kagan and the snake infested think tanks that hire them. And Obama gets down on his knees and pledges servitude to blatant racists like Netanyahu. And Hillary Clinton chides other countries for crimes we commit openly, routinely, and with false rationales and justifications.
    Feel safer now?
    (Do a google, Steve. I’m sure you can figure out who Hillary Clinton is if you put your mind to it.)


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