Afghanistan veterans

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Dad: Houston Gunman May Have Had PTSD

Disturbed vet had anti-government beliefs

(Newser) - The gunman behind Sunday's deadly rampage in Houston has been identified as Afghanistan veteran Dionisio Garza III by ABC13 , which found a bag containing bullets and his personal papers at the scene. The bag, which held the 25-year-old's birth certificate and military discharge record, was turned over to... More »

Paraplegic Vet Surprises Bride, Stands Up for First Dance

Sgt. Joey Johnson built device that let him ditch wheelchair to dance with Michelle

(Newser) - Michelle Johnson is a wedding planner outside of Indianapolis, but she had nothing to do with the biggest surprise at her own June wedding. Sgt. Joey Johnson—an Afghanistan war veteran who lost all feeling below his chest after a 2012 motorcycle accident just four months after he met Michelle—... More »

Government Trying to Fix Our Memories

Pentagon invests $40M in research into implants

(Newser) - It sounds like something out of a sci-fi flick: Direct brain recording, a shorthand for probing the brain to listen to its chatter. But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is dedicating $40 million to this high-tech field to help the estimated 270,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war... More »

Military: No Record of Reality Show Singer's War Injury

Timothy Michael Poe told 'America's Got Talent' he started singing to heal

(Newser) - A singer who appeared on America's Got Talent earlier this week with an inspiring story now appears to have made at least some of it up. Timothy Michael Poe told the judges that he had spent 14 years in the military and took up singing while recovering from a... More »

45% of New Vets File for Disability

That's a huge jump from post-Gulf War numbers

(Newser) - American veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are filing for disability benefits at a rate never seen before, causing many to worry about the physical and mental health of a generation of troops, reports the AP . Of the 1.6 million veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan,... More »

Just 1 in 3 Vets Say Iraq, Afghanistan Wars 'Worth It'

Another 1 in 3 disagree: Pew Research Center poll

(Newser) - Friday marks the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan; with an eye on the decade-long effort, the Pew Research Center asks veterans: Were the Afghanistan and Iraq wars worth it? Just 34% of post-Sept. 11 veterans say yes, while another 33% say no (Afghanistan is considered slightly more... More »

Breathing Trouble Dogs Middle East Vets

New study increases concern over respiratory issues

(Newser) - Why do so many young, previously healthy soldiers come back from the Middle East with respiratory problems, some so bad they can no longer pass a physical required for active duty? The question was made more urgent with the results of a new study showing that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans... More »

Trail of Warning Signs Led to Soldier's Suicide

Questions raised about rising suicide rates in the US military

(Newser) - Staff Sgt. David Senft died not in the heat of battle, but alone and despondent in Afghanistan with a single gunshot to the head, an unsent text message typed into his phone that said, "I don't know what to say, I'm sorry." The US Army deployed Senft to... More »

For Returning Troops, an Even Worse Job Reality

They're grappling with 10% employment; non-vets at 9.1%

(Newser) - The job market is obviously bleak—but it's even worse when it comes to troops returning from war. The Washington Post takes a look at the 2 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who spent as much as 10 years, on and off, in desolate war zones, racking... More »

College Bans Vet for 'Addicted to Killing' Essay

Ex-soldier: Essay was 'therapeutic'

(Newser) - An Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who wrote that he was "addicted to killing" in an essay about his war experiences was banned from campus after his essay was published in his college newspaper. The Community College of Baltimore County told Charles Whittington that his writings "raised red flags,... More »

Civilian Contractors Are the 'Vietnam Vets' of Our Time

Workers injured in war zones are the hidden cost of Iraq, Afghanistan wars

(Newser) - Thousands of Americans have come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are veterans in all but name, writes T. Christian Miller—and the benefits afforded veterans. The military's unprecedented reliance on civilian contractors has left thousands injured and disabled with no safety net or public gratitude. Whether... More »

War Games Help Vets Cope With PTSD

Psychologists say virtual reality allows vets to confront and overcome trauma

(Newser) - Using realistic war games to re-create the sights, sounds, and even smells of combat is helping veterans overcome post-traumatic stress disorder in several clinical trials. Games like Virtual Iraq—modeled on Full Spectrum Warrior—help psychologists bring patients back to traumatic events and break down mental barriers. Researchers say the... More »

'Stress Camp' Aimed at Bucking Up US Troops

(Newser) - The army has a new plan to fight rampant suicide, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder: a $117 million program to train soldiers in "emotional resiliency."  Beginning in October, all 1.1 million soldiers will receive intensive training aimed at helping them identify and change destructive thinking patterns,... More »

'Healing Power of Death Metal' Buoys Wounded Vets

(Newser) - A new program is putting some smiles on the many pained faces at Walter Reed Army Medical Center—and perhaps even helping wounded veterans recover, Slate reports. The seed for Musicorps came when musician/producer/tinkerer Arthur Bloom was asked to help an amputee there play drums again. Now, the program teaches... More »

Vets' Families Seek Pay as Caregivers

Say disability money doesn't cover needs for injured troops

(Newser) - Wounded soldiers receive disability pensions based on the extent of their injuries, but for many families that money doesn't come close to covering the costs of caregiving. After Matt Keil returned home a quadriplegic, his wife, Tracy, quit her job to care for him, losing a $58,000 per-year income... More »

Young Vets Burst Onto Political Scene

Military stays neutral, but returned troops stump for both sides

(Newser) - Military rules bar troops from getting involved in politics while on duty, the New York Times reports, but as they return home more young vets are diving into an election that will determine the nation's course in Afghanistan and Iraq. Driven by a sense of political duty and kept up... More »

Troop Brain Injuries Often Overlooked

Wounded suffer blast affects that stump medical experts

(Newser) - An alarming number of US veterans are returning home from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffering long-term effects from concussions, the New York Times reports. Half of those who have suffered concussions quickly recover, but others have symptoms—including memory loss and mood swings—that can resurface months after the... More »

Vets Slipping Into the Bottle

Military blames troubled vets turning to booze for rise in misconduct

(Newser) - A rise in alcohol abuse among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is worrying military officials, the New York Times reports. Counseling services for vets suffering post-traumatic stress disorder are stretched to the limit and many tormented former soldiers are turning instead to the bottle. The increase in binge drinking, and a... More »

'Virtual Iraq' Helps Vets Face Stress

Treatment drags soldiers back to moments of crisis

(Newser) - Therapists are plunging US war veterans back into the horrors of battle—as therapy. A virtual reality treatment is helping them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder by returning them to scarring events until their shock value wanes. "When the ground starts vibrating and you smell smoke and hear the... More »

VA Doctor Discouraged Post-Traumatic Diagnoses

Email urged staffers to save disability costs

(Newser) - A team leader at a veterans' medical center in Texas sent staffers an email urging them to avoid diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, the Washington Post reports. "Given that we are having more and more compensation-seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD... More »

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