Editor’s Note from Brian Ross: In the third year of a joint project with the nonprofit Carnegie Corporation, six leading graduate school journalism students were again selected to spend the summer working with the ABC News investigative unit.
This year’s project involved an examination of whether, as happened in the wake of the Vietnam War, Iraqi war veterans were turning to drugs as a result of the trauma and pain of war.
The U.S. military maintains the percentage of soldiers abusing drugs is extremely small and has not increased as a result of Iraq.
The students’ assignment was to get the unofficial side of the story from soldiers, young men of their own generation.
Today’s report is the second in a series of five reports. When Spc. Matthew McKane listens to questions, he tilts his head to one side. When he answers, his speech is plain and matter-of-fact. A boyish grin occasionally creeps across his doughy cheeks and plays at the edges of his mouth, like a kid who got caught sneaking a cookie. If only it were that simple. As a medic in Iraq, the 22-year-old McKane saw the ravages of war firsthand and found he couldn’t deal with it. Read the Full Story.