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Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Vietnam veterans canary in coal mine for PTSD

Almost every veteran I know has PTSD. They are the majority of the VA claims, the VA backlog of claims as well as the majority of veterans taking their own lives. While you don't read their stories from news reports as often, the truth is, they are much like the canary in the coal mine. They gave us plenty of warning of what the OEF and OIF veterans face 10, 20, 30 and 40 years from now if we don't finally get this right.

Vietnam veterans know what is needed to help them heal. Their families, including mine, know how to make their lives better but no one listens to us. Why? The press has been focusing on the new veterans and so has congress. Thank you Huffington Post for remembering us.
Veteran Suicide Rate Highest For Soldiers Over 50 (VIDEO)
Huffington Post
Posted: 09/10/2013

Veterans don't leave all danger behind on the battlefield.
Once soldiers return home, many suffer mental anguish through PTSD and other disorders that can lead to suicide. The Huffington Post is examining the increase in veteran suicides through its Invisible Casualties series.

"The majority of people who were [medically evacuated] from Afghanistan and Iraq were not [evacuated] for physical wounds but for mental wounds," said David Wood, HuffPost's senior military correspondent. "This includes PTSD and traumatic brain injury and various forms of anxiety disorders and a whole range of psychological reactions to being at war."

While post-war challenges are unique for every soldier, suicide rates are especially high for veterans over 50. Warriors who served in Vietnam often have a unique and difficult way of processing that contentious conflict, according to Tom Berger of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

"The way that our veterans deal with the memories and the trauma and the traumatic experience of [the Vietnam war] ... I believe it's different at the subconscious level, and there's some other factors -- effective states, if you will, in psychological jargon -- unique to Vietnam veterans," Berger said.
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