After Battling the Enemy, Veterans at Home Face Second Front in Fight Against VA for Timely Mental Health Care

Healing the Wounds of War

by Wayne Lesperance
NHPR, April 24, 2012

Soldier with 503rd Infantry Regiment shown taking a pause from fighting in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Troops fighting in Afghanistan and those who fought in Iraq are facing a second fight when they try to get timely mental health care from the VA. (Balazs Gardi)

After ten years since the War on Terror began, many service members have come back with visible injuries, but many others have come home with less obvious wounds associated with military service; like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and a high suicide rate. We’ll look at these problems, where the system is working and failing, and what some are trying to do to help. 

Listen to this discussion:

http://www.nhpr.org/post/healing-wounds-war

Guests

Megan McCloskey– Reporter for Stars and Stripes, which covers the U.S. military.

Jonathan Shay – A former Staff Psychiatrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Outpatient Clinic for twenty years, where his only patients were combat veterans with psychological and moral injury. He is the author of “Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character” and “Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming”

Loren Haberski – Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

Jason Hansman– Served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, where he helped manage hundreds of reconstruction projects. He is the Online Community Manager for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  He also manages Community of Veterans, which is the nation’s largest online network for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently there are 22,000 vets online who offer each other support on many issues, including PTSD, mortgage problems, and student-veteran issues.

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