DID YOU KNOW it’s actually more than 300,000 veterans struggling with these lingering injuries?
Here’s the math: More than 1.6 million troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. More than a third of these men and women suffer from the invisible wounds of war: PTSD, major depression, or traumatic brain injury, according to a RAND report last year. This seems to be solid data, since RAND conducted its survey of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan independently from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
Then: 11.2% of veterans suffer from PTSD or major depression; 12.2% have traumatic brain injuries without PTSD or depression: 7.3% suffer from PTSD or depression, plus traumatic brain injuries.
With these rates, we know that at least 300,000 veterans are suffering from PTSD or major depression, and at least 320,000 have traumatic brain injuries.
Many with these invisible wounds don’t seek care or treatment. There are many reasons, according to the report. About 44% said it would harm their careers. The same percentage said it would cause them to lose their security clearance. About 45% said the medications have too many side effects.
“We’re brutally and cold-bloodedly sacrificing the psychological well-being of these men and women, which should be a scandal,” wrote Bob Herbert this week in a scathing column in the New York Times. “If these wars are so important to our national security, we should all be engaging in some form of serious sacrifice, and many more of us should be serving.”
Are you surprised by these numbers? Do you agree or disagree with Herbert’s assessment?
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