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Could Veterans’ Grief Be Significantly Overlooked?




A recent study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine focuses on grief in veterans over the loss of a comrade to either combat or suicide. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
A recent study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine focuses on grief in veterans over the loss of a comrade to either combat or suicide. (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

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An abundance of research looking at war has focused on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, but researchers at the University of California, Irvine wanted to take a different angle: grief. The researchers say the more in-depth knowledge available on this topic, the better experts can address the public health impact of recent wars. 

A recent study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine focuses on grief in veterans over the loss of a comrade to either combat or suicide. It hones in on how the specific form of death is associated with veterans’ responses and the levels of grief experienced. The study found that suicide deaths can be more challenging because it’s often unexpected, whereas combat deaths may be easier to accept. The study also reveals findings about blame, guilt and emotional responses when it comes to comrade deaths. And combat exposure is as strong a risk factor for grief as it is for PTSD, according to the study.

Today on AirTalk, Larry sits down to talk with a researcher who conducted the study. But we also want to hear from you. Are you a veteran who’s experienced the loss of a comrade? How has it impacted you? Are you a family member of a veteran? Do you think their grief was or has been overlooked? Call us at 866-893-5722. 

Guest:

Pauline Lubens, co-author of the UCI study; policy analyst at the nonprofit Swords to Plowshares, which focuses on veterans’ issues