Sep 18, 2006
Colorado Springs, Colorado - After returning from Iraq, Jason Harvey, a combat soldier with the Fort Carson-based 2nd Brigade Combat Team, raced his car at speeds of more than 100 mph on Squirrel Tree Road and played paint ball to replicate battle situations.
“You have no idea what stress is until you’ve been in combat. When you’re in combat, the adrenaline rush, it becomes fluid, you’re used to it all the time. Then when you come back, it’s not there anymore and you have to find something to get back to how it was,” said Harvey, 23, who was diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder. “I know a lot of guys who started going sky diving or rock climbing; for me it was street racing. … It might sound strange, but for me, when I was driving fast, it made me calm again.”
Harvey was kicked out of the Army after he was found driving with a loaded gun on Fort Carson. He now lives in Wellington, Fla. He is among the untold number of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have found themselves in what law enforcement officials increasingly realize are crisis situations - situations that often prove deadly.
While there is no hard data on whether high-risk or violent behavior is increasing, studies show the death rate for veterans returning from Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm was higher than for veterans who had not served in either theater.