Patt Morrison for May 25, 2011

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers — suicides haunt veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan

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An Iraqi war veteran struggles to cope with his recently diagnosed PTSD.

More active duty soldiers and veterans have died from suicide than from combat wounds over the past two years. This information is a source of fear for soldiers returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and a source of major concern for the government agencies treating these vets.

Today, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing to investigate the causes of these suicides and what the Department of Veterans Affairs and other groups can do to offer more support to military members and their families.

Earlier this month, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cited “incompetence” at the VA in how they have treated soldiers with mental health problems, citing long delays and missed diagnoses from veterans showing symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The National Institute of Mental Health found that suicide recently surpassed combat death as a cause of mortality in the military. What can be done to help a generation of young soldiers who will live the rest of their lives with hidden war wounds?

Guests:

Jeff Milman, personal injury lawyer; represented family members of veterans who have committed suicide against the Veterans Association medical system.

Randy Styner, Marine Corps veteran with PTSD; he served in Desert Storm


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