“Dwarfed by the Magnitude of the Problems”

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A U.S. soldier in Kuwait readies to invade Iraq, 2003.

That’s the grim bottom line of a major new study in the state of post-9/11 veterans released Tuesday morning by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the prestigious and independent National Academy of Sciences.

“Although the majority of returning troops have readjusted well to post-deployment life, 44 percent have reported difficulties after they returned,” a summary of the report says. “Significant numbers of personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and many have shown symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance misuse or abuse.”


…writes Dr. George Rutherford, of the University of California, San Francisco, the public-health expert who chaired the panel that did the report.

The report contains reams of data and will be a gold mine for professionals looking for data about who went off to war, post-9/11, and how they fared.

The report’s key findings:


The study also shows that close to a quarter-million troops suffered some kind of traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan and Iraq:


The report, summing up Army data, also showed that psychological problems, use of mental-health medications, and thoughts of divorce increased from first to second and third deployments.


The IOM did the report, Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families, at the request of Congress. The report was the second phase of a $5 million study into veterans’ issues