'This Week' Transcript: Gen Peter Chiarelli

CHIARELLI: It affects everything. It affects the divorce rate. It affects substance abuse. It affects everything. And we've kind of taken our focus and shifted it to ensure that we're getting at that.

You know, the problem with posttraumatic stress is that in the United States, the National Institute of Mental Health will tell you, for regular civilians, it is 12 years between the initiating event and when someone first seeks help. Now the issue there isn't that they finally seek help. It's all the things that happen in between. Everything from high-risk behavior to drug abuse to prescription drug abuse, anger management issues, to divorce. I mean, those kinds of things are affected when people don't get treated for posttraumatic stress.

AMANPOUR: And again, we've been talking about the stigma of that. And I think you in the military have been trying to address that. And there is a public service announcement that some of the -- those who have been awarded with the highest recognition, the Medal of Honor winners, have reported. Let's just put that up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I put the war on every morning, and I take it off every night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like you, I have experience with challenges of war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you return from combat and have concerns about your mental health...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... the tools and the resources are here now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Use some of those services and stay strong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be courageous. Ask for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember your warrior ethos: refuse to accept defeat. Never quit. Don't let the enemy defeat you at home.


CHIARELLI: I need to tell you a little story about that. We were looking for a way to get the word out to soldiers that, first off, we thought we'd go to NFL football players. We know the issues that they're having with traumatic brain injury and concussion. I know someone came up with the idea, after we talked to some Medal of Honor recipients, hey, why don't we talk to them? Why don't we see if some of them would be willing to make that, because these are truly the folks that soldiers look up to.

AMANPOUR: Is it making a difference?

CHIARELLI: It's making a huge difference. We are finally starting to get at the stigma. We're not there, and as the chief says, he used to go into a room and ask 100 people, "How many people think that, if they went and sought help, it would affect their career?" and he'd get 90 hands up. Now he goes into a room and asks the same question and 50 hands come up. So we're making progress, but we've got to keep on it.

I brief every single brigade combat team that goes to Iraq today. The leadership of that brigade, I do a video teleconference where we talk about traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress and try to explain to them what happens in the body when this occurs and that they've got to seek help.

AMANPOUR: Do you think you might go the NFL route? Because they're also heroes and macho men?

CHIARELLI: We've got to first understand more about posttraumatic stress and TBI. One of the things we've done is we've instituted Resilience Centers down range. I was just down range.

AMANPOUR: Down range means you were on the ground in Afghanistan? You spent a week...

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