By Laurie Leitch and Elaine Miller-Karas
"Thousands and thousands of young men and women have been profoundly wounded—physically, emotionally, and spiritually."
About 2.1 million troops have served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Assuming that each returning veteran has five or more close family members (spouse or significant other, mother, father, two siblings), these wars directly affect at least 10 million people. If we include children, other relatives, coworkers, and friends, the number of Americans affected could be 40 million or more.
A report developed by the RAND Corporation in 2008 estimated that 300,000 veterans suffer from significant PTSD, anxiety, or major depressive symptoms; an additional 320,000 may have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
Unfortunately, the mental health system responsible for serving these men and women is already stretched to the breaking point, even as many thousands are returning to civilian life or are between multiple deployments."
This report goes on and on in an effort to explain the depth and breadth of this problem.