Members of Albuquerque Iraq Veterans Against the War issued a warning this week about a "horrendous health epidemic" faced by U.S. troops. The statistics are chilling.
- The military suicide rate increased 150 percent from 2001 to 2009.
- While on average only 9.1 percent of the suicide deaths between 2005 and 2009 had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this percentage has steadily increased from 4.6 percent in 2005 to 14.1 percent in 2009.
- Suicide rates among active-duty troops are twice as high as that of the civilian population, and veterans with PTSD are 6 times more likely to attempt suicide.
- Official Pentagon figures show that 188,000 service members have suffered brain injuries since 2000. Of those, 44,000 suffered moderate or severe head injuries. Another 144,000 had mild traumatic brain injuries. However, previous ProPublica and NPR reporters show that number likely understates the true toll by tens of thousands of troops. Some estimates put the number of brain injuries at 400,000 service members.
Go to Iraq Veterans Against the War Website (IVAW.org). Follow its cutting edge work organizing GI's who understand that war is in and of itself a horrendous health epidemic and cause of environmental disaster as well. Support our troops, bring them home!