Wednesday, October 05, 2011


In addition to the trillions spent and thousands who have died in our lovely little wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cost to America's veterans include a growing toll of mental illness.

Nearly 20 percent of the more than 2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from mental health conditions, according to a new report.

They amount to more than half of the 712,000 veterans from both wars who have sought medical treatment since leaving military service. Nearly a third of those veterans may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, one of the signature injuries of the conflicts.

Veterans for Common Sense, a nonprofit, nonpartisan activist group for veterans' interests, and health care issues in particular, compiled the statistics from a raft of government reports.

In whittling them down to just the bare data, the group created a grim shorthand for the toll the wars have taken on a generation of young men and women.

"A large number of people serving overseas have mental health impacts, and more and more are coming home," said Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "I am deeply concerned that we are not ready."

That would require money and resources, which we can't have because we need to give the Koch brothers more tax cuts.  Meanwhile we have hundreds of thousands of our troops who have served this country suffering from various mental illnesses and our brave, patriotic Republicans want to cut health care for veterans.  President Obama's jobs bill includes measures to put vets back to work and get them the help they need financially, but the "jobs bill is dead" because of the Republicans.

"Why do Republicans hate our troops so much?" would be tragically amusing if it wasn't the actual truth.