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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Returning OEF/OIF Troops with PTSD

From the Guardian last week, but has a few stats to preserve:

According to the Pentagon's own mental health taskforce, US troops have been undertaking higher levels of sustained combat duty than that experienced by soldiers during the war in Vietnam and in the second world war.

It found that 38% of soldiers, 31% of marines, 49% of national guard members and 43% of marine reservists showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological problems within three months of returning from active duty. Its report also noted inadequate mental healthcare and facilities, and prejudice over mental health problems.

The US has about 155,000 troops in Iraq, most of whom typically spend 15 months in combat zones with a guaranteed 12 months at home. But that is a breach of the Pentagon's own rules saying equal time should be spent on and off duty.

This week, Peter Geren, acting army secretary, told Congress that extended stints of frontline duty could be ordered if President Bush opted to push the 30,000-strong troop surge in Iraq beyond September. The senate armed services committee heard that while no decisions had been made, plans had to be started.

More OEF/OIF stats.

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