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View Diary: Iraq and Afghanistan vet suicides may EXCEED combat deaths (79 comments)

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  •  Couple of points (9+ / 0-)

    Suicide doesn't have to be immediate. Alcoholism and drug abuse, domestic violence as well as other risky behaviors are part of this whole equation.

    The real damage is caused to THESE particular troops more than any others because of a few compounded things; the longer tours, the repeat tours [stop loss actions] and also the much higher involvement with violent events on a daily basis.

    The 1991 Gulf war had 3 times the number of participants who were there for only months; most did not see direct combat. And yet .. there's elevated suicides that coincide with that conflict.

    Somewhere between hyperbole and cold hard statistics lies the truth. But the honest truth is, we are taking these people to the breaking point unlike any soldiers have ever been, at least since WWII. The extended tours, the repetitive tours and high incidence and likelihood of extreme violence being witnessed may be unlike anything Americans have ever seen. It might be more like what the Russians had to face on the Eastern Front against the Nazis during WWII.

    One thing is for certain: the lack of support for such a relatively small number of troops is shameful and inexcusable.

    "Change doesn't happen from the top down,
    it happens from the bottom up." Barack Obama

    by shpilk on Mon May 05, 2008 at 09:29:27 PM PDT

    •  Excellent points (4+ / 0-)

      the multiple tours have to be debilitating, whether it's immediately apparent or not.

      We recently had a murder [alleged] in our small town, a young man in his early 20's stabbed his mother. He was a recent returnee from Iraq.  Turns out there were some very twisted family dynamics going back to his childhood, but something caused him to snap at this moment. He wasn't enrolled in any kind of therapy.

    •  Spot on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, peraspera

      the other complicating factor is that the higher involvement with violent events on a daily basis also increases the risk of TBI.

      TBI results from the brain being thrown against one wall, or more. of the skull. Like a whip lash only usually worse. Compression waves from IEDs can cause it - even though there is no physical injury. It can also happen just before the phyiscal injury occurs.

      TBI is considered the 'signature injury' of this war, Gulf I has the syndrome.

      PTSD and TBI are bad enough alone. Put them together and it really puts these vets at risk.

      I'm afraid there will not be enough support, soon enough, effective and long enough for too many of them.

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