Military Mental Health

Follow the Money




Back when I first started covering the military some dozen or so wars ago — in the late 1970s — General Dynamics was busy building the F-16 jet fighter and a plethora of other weapons. But it sold the F-16 line to Lockheed in 1993, and spun off its missile and space divisions, too. It seems to be moving into a different line of …

Chart of the Week

I thought it might have been Wednesday’s, where I plotted the amazing growth in U.S. air drops into Afghanistan over the past several years. Then this one stopped me cold. It’s in the Army’s just-released study into the nature and number of U.S. troops wounded in Afghanistan, conducted by the Army’s Dismounted Complex Blast Injury …

Dispatches From the Third Front: Part II–the Refuge

Nearly every military installation, from our many stateside posts to larger bases in combat zones, have some form of a Morale, Welfare and Recreation center, what the troops call MWR. At Brooke Army Medical Center, the place of refuge is more than just a recreation center; it’s a central part of their healing and journey home. Our trip …

The Buried IED…Here at Home

The military’s fight against improvised explosive devices along roads in Afghanistan and Iraq — which have killed more than 3,000 Americans — has cost more than $20 billion. But that’s only the money spent by the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO, pronounced ji-dough) to stop them over there. …

Dispatches From the Third Front: Day 1–The Hero

In north San Antonio, just off of Interstate 35, a towering hospital building dominates Brooke Army Medical Center, one of two hospitals–along with the newly unified Walter Reed National Military Center–that treat some of the most grievously wounded troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. BAMC, as the soldiers call it, is one of the …

Carpe September 20th

The clock is ticking. If you are reading this, it means the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is no more. As of right now, I no longer have to hide in a web of lies about the details of my personal life. Throughout my time in service under DADT, a week hasn’t gone by where I haven’t been reminded of the policy. It …

Michelle Obama’s Veterans’ Initiative: Meat or Just Sizzle?

First Lady Michelle Obama bounded energetically onto a stage set up last April at a Sears distribution facility in Columbus, Ohio. Shiny black and red lawn tractors stood stacked in storage crates up to the warehouse ceiling behind her, a backdrop intimating hearty manufacturing jobs and bucolic suburban lawns.

Two days earlier, …

Post-“Don’t Ask” Stress, v. 2.0

Recently I caught wind of an independent study being conducted by the University of Maryland Baltimore County about the effects of DADT on the mental health of those who have been directly affected by the policy. After contacting the man responsible for the project directly, I was able to learn a thing or two about this ground-breaking …

The Human Toll Taken by a Decade of War

Just how worn out are our troops because of non-stop combat since 9/11? To what degree has that contributed to problems like PTSD, family breakups and suicide in the ranks? This week, on Command Post, we discuss the tenacity of U.S. troops, as well as the cracks that can appear after a decade of fighting. Margaret Harrell, a

“My Mom Deserves to Know the Truth.”

Since reporting Monday on Rep. Judy Chu’s revelation that her nephew, Lance Corporal Harry Lew, killed himself after being hazed by fellow Marines in Afghanistan, we’ve spoken to several people about the tragic case. It turns out it wasn’t so much tragedy as torment; some might even call it torture. “LCPL Lew was identified …

The Haze of War



At the tail end of last Friday’s hearing into military suicides before the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel subcommittee, Rep. Judy Chu finally got a chance to speak. Although not a member of the panel — she serves on the Education and Labor, Judiciary, and Small Business committees — chairman Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., …

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