Last month, for the first time in almost 12 years, no American soldier came home in a body bag from Iraq or Afghanistan. But, even as the wars wind down, military personnel have been killing themselves at the rate of 22 every day. Almost 90% of the Iraq and Afghan war veterans feel proud of their actions. Just 35% believe those wars were worth fighting. Almost a third is suffering from mental and emotional health problems that make returning to civilian life a new and difficult challenge. Specialist Ivan Lopez, made news last week because of his Fort Hood shooting spree, one especially tragic example of 2000 suicides since the first of this year. Not all were veterans of combat, and many were troubled before. Does military service attract people with mental health issues or help to create them?
The Pentagon's Latest War…against Mental Illness