PTSD War Trauma Is killing our boys faster than any millitary power on earth could do.
May be the saddest part of being a proud American is that every citizen of our country does not contribute equally to the defence of our nation. Less than 1% of people in this country volunteer to serve in the military.
The rest simply play armchair general and demand that we attack this country or that country. Their perception of war is what they have experienced in video games. They know nothing of the human costs. Our government, Democrats or Republicans, are too willing to use the military to prove their leadership or lack of it and to use the lives of our young men and women for political football.
According to National Pain Report, nearly half of our combat soldiers are in constant state of chronic pain and this only gets worse as time goes on.
In another research study at Walter Reed Army Hospital more than 2,500 soldiers were used to ascertain the reported combat injuries, both physical and emotional. These soldiers were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, some multiple times and others with only a single deployment. Nearly half of these men and women reported combat injuries, either physical or emotional. The prevalence of chronic pain was much higher than the civilian population, with 44% of the soldiers indicating they were in pain longer than three months and 15.1% reporting the recent use of opioids. That compares to 26% and 4% respectively in the civilian population. Chronic pain puts tremendous amount of pain and suffering on our vets and it is one of the contributory factors in suicide.
There is a critical need for a dedicated study to establish how best to help our soldiers, before they are deployed, during deployment, and after discharge. Such study must take into consideration all the possible means of diagnosis, management, and treatment of both physical chronic pain as well as emotional disorders that our brave soldiers are experiencing.
Both of the above mentioned studies suggested that about half of our soldiers are reporting opioid use often to mitigate pain, again both physical and emotional. This also suggests that these chronic pain experiences may be generally moderate to severe pain or they may be the result of high abuse and overdose potential.
Our heros are suffering. Few of us are doing anything about it other than just lip service. Talking is not action. Sympathy is not a cure. Indifference is not America.
The situation is getting so critical that returning veterans are at risk for a “lifetime progression of increasing mental disability” unless the quality and variety of their diagnosis and treatment as well as pain management is improved drastically. While politicians point fingers at one another, on both sides, we continue to reduce care for our injured vets due to budget constraints while politicians verbally scream their support of our country and our brave soldiers.
The cost of this ignorance and deliberate reduction of cost and financial support is staggering. The mental health and physical well-being of our returning vets are one of the greatest threats to our national defense as the nation is being crushed under on national debt, which can only mean that the budgets will continue to be cut further and our vets will receive less support and/or care. We should do better than this.
According to latest report by Department of Veterans Affairs, about 8,000 of our veterans commit suicide each year, indicating that we are facing a disturbing mental health crisis. The study released publicly was the most comprehensive suicide study ever conducted by the department.
The study together with data gathered from Centers for Disease Control with regards to veterans suicides, point to a significant mental health risk for individuals who served in the military.
While veterans have a suicide rate 50% higher than those who did not serve in the military, the rate of suicide is suggesting that the causes extend beyond the trauma of war alone. However, no one can conclude what the exact reasons may be.