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August 18th, 2009
11:05 AM ET

The War at Home: Young vets' invisible wounds

It's the psychological wounds of war that may take the longest to heal.

The New York Times reports the Army plans to put all of its soldiers through intensive mental stress training. It's meant to improve combat performance but also help prevent depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.

In the second part of our "War at Home" series, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on how soldiers are struggling to cope with life away from the front lines.

Filed under: Military • The War at Home
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Dan

    We need health care reform in the V.A.Medical Centers. We cant get proper medical care, We cant get ramps, scooters, lifts to transport, all we get is a slap in the face. And the Media, what a laugh, with all there empty thanks, Will not even report on this neglect. It astounds me that so many in our nation has turned there back on our Veterans that has given so much

    September 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  2. Rock

    I remember the old World War II vets talk about "going back into the line". They all had funny looks on their faces. It was only when I became a soldier that I began to understand what they were talking about. This young generation is relearning too many lessons.

    Perhaps recognition of PTSD and how it affects people is half the battle. Back in my day, there was no such thing. Everybody (to include the VA) labeled guys like me as "crazy". I drank too much and took too many prescription drugs. Sometimes, it was like I would give anything for the chance to get a peaceful nights' sleep, uninterrupted by one of those nightmares we all seem to get.

    There is some good news. Given time and patience, love from your family, the chance to listen to others who share your experiences and perhaps the gentlest of medical care, a soldier can heal. If I can do it, there isn't any reason today's generation can't.

    A small measure of hope can go a long way.


    August 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  3. Alexander

    I am a Marine Corps Vet. I left the Marines in 1999, so I did not see any action in our current operations. However, I worked my way through college by working at a VA Hospital. I agree with Ronvan. Although I see therapy as a step in the right direction, if it is anything like the type of therapy that was offered at the VA Hospital for Vietnam Vets, then it will do little good. When you send a person to "hell", "hell" will be forever engrained in their psyche. All we can do for them is listen, empathize, and help.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  4. Margaret

    Our armed force(s) train these brave men and women to be extremely effective at all cost, when they are deployed to a combat zone. It is only right that these soldiers be given optimum both preliminary and more importantly post mental and physical health training and consulling! Most civilians can't or are not aware, nor can conceive, of what happens to our soldiers who are at war, except for the families, who are blessed enough to have their loved ones returned home.
    These wonderful and brave Americans' who risk life and limbs to keep us safe! I advocate that, those who serve and are able to return home, be given the best medical care available or at the very lest care equal to what our government officials receives and not be treated as "Throw Aways" after they've finished their
    tour(s) of duty!!! This process should include: top of the line health and mental care, rehabilitation and viable employment, and/or training for the men and women, who can continue to work and adequate benefits, for those who are disabled, to enable them provide for themselves and their families. It saddens me to see, as a person who grew up during the Vietnam era, that there is still such a lack of care and consideration for the well being of the VETS, who served us well. Shame on America!!!

    August 19, 2009 at 7:45 am |
  5. steve

    The Soldiers

    Free and Confidential Counseling for IEF/OEF Veterans.

    Take advantage guys, their located in Cali, Washington, NYC/Long Island and Chicago.

    August 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  6. ronvan

    This is probably a good thing, however, as a 23yr. Army Viet Nam vet. my thoughts are that there is nothing that will prevent these, unseen, injuries to our fighting forces, when you continually send them back into hell! We are all just human and can only take so much of the brutality and horror of any war.

    August 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm |