Dec 10, 2013
Hundreds of Thousands More Like Tomas Young
Posted on Mar 27, 2013
Almost half of the 2.2 million troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan report problems on returning home, but the attention and care many receive from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs are not enough, a study published Tuesday finds.
The report was commissioned by Congress, funded by the Pentagon and conducted by the Institute of Medicine. Its authors expressed “serious misgivings” about methods used to treat “significant numbers” of returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and drug abuse problems. It found that some tools and treatments used by the Department of Defense have “no clear scientific evidence base.”
The 500-plus page study found that 44 percent of troops returning home reported difficulties. As many as one in five suffers from PTSD. A similar number have mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some have overlapping conditions. The report noted that the unemployment rate among veterans aged 18-24 was more than 30 percent, compared with 16 percent for civilians.
Tomas Young, the 33-year-old veteran who was wounded in Iraq and who announced in February that he would discontinue the nourishment regimen that was keeping him alive, suffered a massive pulmonary embolism and fell into a coma one month after being released prematurely from a Veterans Affairs hospital. The injury stole “most of his upper-body mobility and short-term memory, and his speech was slurred significantly,” Chris Hedges wrote in a recent article about Young.
See some of the study’s key conclusions below.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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