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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New Jersey: 25% of Troops Returning with Problems

More local PTSD data, this from the state of New Jersey:

New Jersey's top military officer said yesterday the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs more than doubled its budget this year to treat veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder.

[A]djutant general, Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, said his department budgeted $800,000 this year -- up from $300,000 the previous year -- for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for veterans, some of whom fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. He said he may seek more funding in the next fiscal year, which begins in July. "About 25 percent of the kids are having some problems," Rieth said. "It's not just New Jersey's problem. It's America's problem."

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for more stats...

[T]he agency provides services to New Jersey's 600,000 veterans. He also commands the 5,900 soldiers and 2,400 airmen of the state National Guard. State-funded treatment for veterans with post-traumatic stress or other mental health problems supplements wider programs run by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, which is responsible for the bulk of veterans' medical care. ...

Lt. Col. Roberta Niedt, a military and Veterans Affairs spokeswoman, said the state mental health program is handling 1,125 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. The number includes New Jersey National Guard troops and other service members who have returned from combat zones over the past two years, as well as veterans of previous wars. The numbers are on the rise. In 2004, the state handled 118 new cases, and the number increased to 268 last year. There have been 82 new cases since January, including 26 National Guardsmen or reservists who served in Iraq. "At this rate, there's potential to have 400 by the end of the year," Niedt said. "You can see the potential for this to continue to increase."

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