Traumatic Brain Injury

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 …

Back to School

Today seems to be military and veterans’ education commentary day. ROTC is back at Harvard, and both Bloomberg News and Holly Petraeus are railing on the for-profit colleges.

First the good news story: after a 40 years hiatus, ROTC is back at Harvard. The death of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has re-opened doors long closed to the military …

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 …

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

Writing the Book on Military Mental Health

The literature of war can be literature — think Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage (Civil War), Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (World War I), or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. And sometimes it’s less lit and more textbook. That’s surely the case with the …

Army Suicide Rate Hits New High

Just when you’re thinking the Army may have turned the corner on its troops’ killing themselves, a new number has surfaced that dashes those hopes. On Friday, the Army said it suffered a record 32 suspected suicides in July, the most since it began releasing monthly data two years ago.

The Army is waging war on suicide just as …

Suicides, PTSD and Drug Abuse Among Combat Vets

Once again, the Congressional Research Service has badgered a federal agency – in this case the Department of Veterans Affairs – and come up with snapshots about how U.S. vets seeking VA services are faring (CRS reports are not officially released to the public – dammit, you paid for them, and Congress works for us, so why does …

Take a Chance

Last week was pretty hectic for me, so I’m just catching up on some housekeeping. I wanted to comment on my colleague Mark Thompson’s post about the suicide of Marine Sergeant Ian McConnell. Mark commented that that “Ian’s blood is on our hands,” and that “home, for many of our veterans, is a theater of war.”

These are …

What a Dog Can Do for PTSD

When we did a story last year on what a boon dogs are becoming for troops coming home from the wars with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Luis Carlos Montalvan was one of the soldiers we interviewed. He served as an Army captain in Iraq, where he garnered the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart — as well as a …

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