More than six years after the start of the war in Iraq, US troops marked the withdrawal from Iraqi cities by the June 30 deadline — by mourning the deaths of four fellow soldiers in Baghdad. Even so, our troops continue to deploy to Iraq. While trying to help soldiers and their families, Maj. Gen. John Campbell, said the deployments will continue, too. “I’m not going to change standards for deployments,” said the incoming commander of the 101st Airborne Division. “I think soldiers and families know BCTs (brigade combat teams) will continue to deploy.” There is also a war in Afghanistan continuing to strain our military community — and soon, more Guardsman will be heading to the Mexican border, as well.
Continuous deployments for years have created deep strains in the ranks. This is bursting into the public consciousness in the form of military suicides and substance abuse. We owe our troops full relief, not ignorance and a baseless stigma. “I had spent eight years serving the military. I never got in trouble. Never did anything bad. And I got treated like I was a piece of crap because of [PTSD].“
PTSD. The nightmare cure? The surfing cure? The virtual reality cure? We need answers for our troops and their families and we need to help our suffering troops get well again. Is the VA minimizing mental health issues?