Troops

Don’t Take The Money And Run

Our country loves our troops so much we’ll do anything to give them more money — like extending, yet again — for the sixth time — the government’s deadline for them to apply for bonuses if they had to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq beyond their enlistment period. You may recall the controversial “stop loss” orders issued to troops …

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 …

Up-armored Jock Straps

We reported a month ago on the epidemic of wounds to soldiers’ private parts in Afghanistan when IEDs detonate beneath them. To help deal with the problem, the Army is now sending titanium athletic cups out with the troops, according to USA Today.

Troops’ Mental Health: Bills To Come

Here’s a sentence in a new report, The Psychological Costs of War: Military Combat and Mental Health, that should give any soldier, or soldier’s loved one, or taxpayer, pause:

Our preferred estimates suggest that combat-induced PTSD in the Global War on Terror imposes two-year costs of $1.5 to $2.7 billion on the U.S. health care system.

Speaking of Government-Provided Health Care

Military retirees know that their family insurance payments under the so-called Tricare program — $460 a year, where they have been since 1995 — are going the way of the gramophone record. Given that hikes are inevitable, their leaders are telling them they should embrace the modest fee increases currently proposed — and then push for …

Army Mental Health: Better Screening Yields Better Results

Just how closely should the nation be screening its troops for mental fitness before they’re shipped off to war? We are seeing, again and again, that bad things — depression, divorce, suicide, murder — can happen in combat’s wake. If there is a way to weed out — that may not be the right word — the folks who might be driven to such …

Troops: Still Not Enough Time at Home

When Gen. George Casey stepped down as the Army’s top officer last week, he said his four years as chief of staff had been dedicated to rebalancing a force warped by 10 years of war. “We anticipate getting to a point by the end of this year where we will begin executing a more balanced and sustainable deployment tempo with a transformed, …

Back Home: Traumatic Heart Injuries

Traumatic brain injury — TBI — is one of the current plagues affecting the U.S. military. Medical care has gotten so good that troops can survive even a penetrating brain wound. But they’re never the same. That’s what led Shannon Maxwell to write Our Daddy Is Invincible for her two kids, 7 and 10, after her husband — their father …

Incoming: Reviewing the Previewing of the Review

The Pentagon is forever reviewing everything — from lead-free bullets (a more environmentally-friendly way of killing) to improving chow for America’s ever-expanding Army (on a per-capita BMI scale, of course). But the biggie – for the past generation of Pentagon denizens – has been the QDR, or Quadrennial Defense Review. It’s …

"Pay The Guys With The Guns First"

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is a savvy guy. “A smart thing for government is always to pay the guys with the guns first,” he jokingly told U.S. soldiers Thursday in Baghdad. But it’s not really funny: he warned 175 U.S. troops — on behalf of more than 1 million of their comrades — that their mid-April paycheck might be only 50 …

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