Hidden Cost of the Iraq War for Vets

There have been two recent articles that have come out recently that illustrate the shameful way that the Bush administration has treated our Iraq and Afghanistan vets.

The first of these is on the hidden epidemic of suicides among Iraqi war veterans. The rate of suicides appears to be two to four times the rate among the civilian population. It remains a hidden epidemic because our military does not appear to be interested in knowing.

Beyond the individual loss, it turns out little information exists about how widespread suicides are among these who have served in the military. There have been some studies, but no one has ever counted the numbers nationwide.

I think there is definitely a correlation between this rise in suicides and the increase in post traumatic stress among soldiers as a result of muliple tours of duty in Iraq (see my talkleft posts on this subject here and here).  Can anyone explain to me why the Pentagon isn't keeping a nationwide tally of suicides among vets?  I mean what the f*ck is the matter with them.    

The other article that I would like to draw attention to is about how our military has underestimated the number of Afghanistand and Iraqi vets who have suffered brain injuries.

At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA TODAY.

The data, provided by the Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon's official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327.

Can someone explain to me how you have thousands of soldiers who have suffered brain injuries in Iraq and the Pentagon not classify them as officially wounded?

This is not right.  We now have thousands of returning vets who are either psychologically or physically wounded as a result of George Bush's war.  Ignoring and neglecting them just adds insult to injury.

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