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US Military Health Issues?

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
So it seems that Iraq is creating more wounded than is commonly realised, and that this may cause problems in the future?

From www.foreignpolicy.com

In last year’s list, we pointed out that the health of the U.S. military was in serious decline.

At 7 to 1, the ratio of wounded to dead in Iraq was the highest of any conflict in recent memory, including Vietnam, where the ratio was 3 to 1.

A year later, the story is worse—and still largely ignored. In 2005, the most common number cited regarding the war in Iraq was the more than 2,100 U.S. soldiers that have died.

When the number of wounded was mentioned, the Pentagon figure of more than 15,500 U.S. troops, or the Army Medical Department’s total of 20,748 medical evacuations, was usually rolled out.

Today, the wounded-to-dead ratio remains near 7 to 1 by this official count. But a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) report released in October tells a bigger story.

Its data shows that 119,247 veterans of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have sought VA healthcare.

Of those, 46,450 were diagnosed primarily with musculoskeletal problems, such as joint ailments and back disorders.

More than 36,800 veterans, or 31 percent of those the VA cared for, were treated primarily for mental disorders.

Not even the VA had anticipated the number of soldiers they would be asked to help. In June, the agency told lawmakers that it had underestimated the the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and required $1 billion in emergency funding.
That's a lot of soldiers!
 

steelewheels

Monkey
Oct 26, 2001
136
0
Those ratios are kinda skqued. Medical care in the field and at home have increased monumentally in the last 30 years. Thinking about it, i think those numbers willballon to 100-1. Also, i dont think mental deisese was treated as ofton back in the day because of the stigmatism attatched to it. Ah well, sooo whats the count of dead iraquies?
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,101
2,926
Portland, OR
Not to mention the fact the VA is going broke because of the number of soldiers that request and require treatment because of this.

I know that from my old unit, there were 6 dead and about 80 serious injuries. Serious as in hard to go back to work types of things. Mostly arms, legs, and back.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
15,243
0
Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
An increased ratio of wounded to dead is a good thing. Improvements to front line care and body armor are the major factors in that increase.

Its going to be a big drain on an already screwed system.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
DRB said:
An increased ratio of wounded to dead is a good thing. Improvements to front line care and body armor are the major factors in that increase.

Its going to be a big drain on an already screwed system.
What about the 36,000 mental cases?
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
15,243
0
Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
Changleen said:
What about the 36,000 mental cases?
Again its going to be a major drain on an already stressed system.

However, to make any real determinations is pretty much useless from these bulk figures. The 47,000 and 36,000 number are both lump sum figures with absolutely no breakdown about severity. In both numbers, what are the percentages that are going to require long term care. What are the percentages that are one and done? In some terms those percentages are going to be driven by the effectiveness of the care they are now receiving. So any meaningful analysis from them is sketchy at best.

However that number of 36000 might be a good thing. Maybe that instead of ignoring the problem the military is trying to get these issues addressed quickly before they turn into long term problems. How many soldiers sought help for mental and emotional issues within the first year upon returning from Vietnam? I suspect that is a pretty low number. I do know that addressing these "feelings" and "problems" these 36,000 are having now is better than waiting.
 

BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,179
1
TN
The freaking VA cant even get it together enough to pay my GI Bill payments to me. Good luck anyone else who has to deal with them.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
DRB said:
Again its going to be a major drain on an already stressed system.

However, to make any real determinations is pretty much useless from these bulk figures. The 47,000 and 36,000 number are both lump sum figures with absolutely no breakdown about severity. In both numbers, what are the percentages that are going to require long term care. What are the percentages that are one and done? In some terms those percentages are going to be driven by the effectiveness of the care they are now receiving. So any meaningful analysis from them is sketchy at best.

However that number of 36000 might be a good thing. Maybe that instead of ignoring the problem the military is trying to get these issues addressed quickly before they turn into long term problems. How many soldiers sought help for mental and emotional issues within the first year upon returning from Vietnam? I suspect that is a pretty low number. I do know that addressing these "feelings" and "problems" these 36,000 are having now is better than waiting.
I'd like to think the mental casualties are going to get the same level of attention as physical casualties, but I don't think it's likely. The military (and society in general for that matter) is just now starting to admit it's a problem. People with legitimate problems have been stigmatized, and many haven't received appropriate treatment. One fundamental problem is that the people who are most useful as soldiers frequently have pre-existing mental problems. People with problems like Borderline Personality Disorder have traits that are very useful in the military, but are the most likely to suffer problems like PTSD.