Military Health

Painful Chopper Rides: Maintaining Your “Optimal Buttocks Reference Point” Can Kill Your Back — Failure to Do So Can Kill You

A decade of war certainly takes its toll on the brains and minds of those waging it. We’ve seen that in the numbers of troops returning with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. Pentagon leaders refer to them as the “signature wounds” of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because of their prevalence due to …

“I see a darkness — I feel cold…something is not right.”

Many military spouses deserve Purple Hearts of their own for dealing with their troops when they return home. The Army is trying to help with week-long sessions for them at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The “Significant Others Support Group” offers basic training in how to deal with multiple deployments and the …

Army Suicide Rate Likely to Remain High

Mark Benjamin commented on the spike in suicides among soldiers in April, noting that the number was equal to about half the deaths in Afghanistan during the same time period. The Army has been trying for several years to get ahead of the rising number of suicides. General Peter Chiarelli, the Vice Chief of Staff, is leading the effort, …

Is This the Next Agent Orange?

Soldiers who served in Afghanistan, Iraq or Kuwait inhaled aluminum, nickel, lead and chromium in microscopic dust according to research led by a Navy medical officer. Officials at the Defense Department have dismissed the findings. The story is reported in USA Today by Kelly Kennedy.  

Some Things About War Never Change

Every other day in Afghanistan or Iraq, a U.S. soldier or other service member loses a leg or arm to an IED, or other kinds of battle trauma. In 2010, the rate of 16.4 amputations per month was more than double the 2009 rate of 7.3. That’s a growing audience for the latest item slated for display at the U.S. Army Medical Research and …

Panetta’s Challenge

When the President announced his new national security team last week most of the attention focused on David Petraeus at CIA and the problem of winding down the war in Afghanistan. Leon Panetta’s nomination as Secretary of Defense went almost unnoticed, by comparison.

But Panetta has the bigger challenge: how to manage a build down in …

Mental Health Ills Now Top Cause of Hospital Visits in U.S. Military

In 2006 and 2008, pregnancy accounted for the most hospitalizations among members of the U.S. military, with mental-health ailments ranked second. In 2010, those two swapped places: mental-health problems were the No. 1 cause of hospital stays for members of the U.S. military last year. “In contrast to recent prior years, in 2010 …

CBO Defense Option #3

The Congressional Budget Office offers up another option that won’t affect troops or hardware — force retirees to pay more for their post-military health care. Half the military’s officers and 15 percent of its enlisted force retire from the service, allowing them access to this bargain. The family fee since the system was revamped …

PTSD? “There’s An App For That”

Troops back from war and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can download a new app put together by the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments to help them cope. PTSD Coach lets users track their symptoms and links them to local agencies that can offer assistance. It provides accurate information and individual strategies …

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