Driving and Dying

What kills most troops who die in their first year back home? Suicide? That’s a predictable response, but it’s wrong. It’s traffic accidents:

Government officials are worried about the number of young veterans getting into fatal car accidents after they return home from the battlefield. The ones dying most often tend to be young,

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., …

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 …

Mom Always Said It Was Brain Food

Can fish oil help curb the epidemic of military suicides? That’s the startling finding in a new study just published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. It links suicides by military personnel to low level of docosahexaenoic acid — found in fish oil — and finds that troops with higher levels of DHA in their blood were less …

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 …

Limboland – Day 378

Just an update as promised to my quest for benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On July 21, I had my Compensation and Pension(C&P) examination at my local VA medical center. That was exactly 366 days after I had first filed for benefits.

Let me explain what has happened to …

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 …

Not Born on the 4th of July

Just because you haven’t read something like this in awhile doesn’t mean it’s no longer happening:

It’s common that when a person dies with most of his or her life seemingly ahead of them, friends and family create online memorials. Ian is no different. His sister, Meg, posted one on Facebook over the weekend, and it has

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