A Flood of Troubled Soldiers

  1. WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 - The nation's hard-pressed health care system for veterans is facing a potential deluge of tens of thousands of soldiers returning from Iraq with serious mental health problems brought on by the stress and carnage of war, veterans' advocates and military doctors say. An Army study shows that about one in six soldiers in Iraq report symptoms of major depression, serious anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, a proportion that some experts believe could eventually climb to one in three, the rate ultimately found in Vietnam veterans. Because about one million American troops have served so far in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon figures, some experts predict that the number eventually requiring mental health treatment could exceed 100,000.

  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    How can ANYONE be surprised at this? War is indeed HELL. I feel for all these people and their families.
  4. by   Thunderwolf
    I hope they get the help they need. I hope their suffering can be addressed sooner than later, because help later is usually too late.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN
    Very complicated.

    VA starting to take Gulf War ills seriously
    Weapons of Self-Destruction
    By David Rose
    Is Gulf War syndrome - possibly caused by Pentagon ammunition - taking its toll on G.I.'s in Iraq?
    When he started to get sick, Staff Sergeant Raymond Ramos's first instinct was to fight. "I had joint pains, muscle aches, chronic fatigue, but I tried to exercise it out," he says. "I was going for runs, working out. But I never got any better. The headaches were getting more frequent and sometimes lasted all day. I was losing a lot of weight. My overall physical demeanor was bad."
    A 20-year veteran of the New York National Guard, Ramos had been mobilized for active duty in Iraq in the spring of 2003. His unit, the 442nd Military Police company, arrived there on Easter, 10 days before President Bush's mission accomplished appearance on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. A tall, soft-spoken 40-year-old with four children, the youngest still an infant, Ramos was proud of his physique. In civilian life, he was a New York City cop. "I worked on a street narcotics team. It was very busy, with lots of overtime-very demanding." Now, rising unsteadily from his armchair in his thickly carpeted living room in Queens, New York, Ramos grimaces. "The shape I came back in, I cannot perform at that level. I've lost 40 pounds. I'm frail."

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