'This Week' Transcript: Gen Peter Chiarelli

AMANPOUR: And I want to ask you, I mean, it's painful looking at that report that Bob did. Do you think America is meeting its moral obligation to the people who she sends out to fight the battles for freedom and against terrorism?

CHIARELLI: Well, I think we're doing everything we possibly can to learn as much as we can about the brain. And that's really the issue. It's -- it's trying to understand the brain as well as we do the other organs in the body.

AMANPOUR: The moral obligation: why are these people homeless to begin with? Why is that possible?

CHIARELLI: Part of the problem is posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, and getting them the help that they need. One of the things that we're trying to do, all the services are doing, is through our Wounded Warrior programs, is take those soldiers who are wounded most seriously and put them into programs where the Army is -- warrior treatment facilities that we have. We ensure that they get the help that they need and their transition from the military to civilian life is not done without ensuring that they're in the V.A. system.

AMANPOUR: You mentioned transition, and one of the things that Bob was talking about is this hard transition between coming home, basically, lights off, lights on, at war and then not at war, in fact, overnight. How does one help them with the transition?

CHIARELLI: Well, we're working very, very hard to get at high-risk behavior. What we see is a soldier who's down range for 12 months in a very high adrenaline environment, where every single day, he or she finds themself facing an enemy. And they come home, and many times, want to replicate that.

We're looking at programs that, first of all, ensure that we are identifying early on those who are going to have a rough time reintegrating. And then taking soldiers and putting them in high-stress kind of events that are safe for them, such as water rafting and out doing those kind of sports to burn off that adrenaline, rather than getting on a motorcycle and traveling down the road at 100 miles an hour without a helmet on.

AMANPOUR: But do you think when it comes to, for instance, homelessness, that it's high-risk behavior that is responsible for that?

CHIARELLI: I think we have to do a better job of ensuring that all soldiers, not just those that are seriously wounded that we see, but those that may not be, are informed of the services that are available to them and so none of them leave the service, like the young man did, and find themselves in a situation where they have nowhere to live.

AMANPOUR: And how dramatically are these repeated deployment affecting them? I mean, withstand, doing the math, as Bob did, 2 million American servicemen and women have been rotated through Iraq and Afghanistan.

CHIARELLI: You want to get at these issues, we need more time at home before deployment. I was just down range, and I went to an aviation for a day of about 1,500 folks. Those senior pilots in that unit (ph), those individuals who have been flying mission after mission, 62 percent of whom are on their third -- their third deployment, and over 40 -- 40 percent, almost 40 percent were on their fourth deployment, with very, very little time at home.

AMANPOUR: Huge. Those numbers are huge.

CHIARELLI: They're huge.

AMANPOUR: And not enough time at home means what on the ground? And when they finally...

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