For the majority of Americans not serving in the military or who don’t know anyone serving in the military, war is a distant thing – something happening somewhere overseas to others. With a new report this week, one organization is attempting to highlight the toll the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have taken in human terms.
More than 2 million service members have deployed overseas – almost half have deployed more than once.
More than 100,000 have suffered a war zone casualty. Only 6 percent of those are deaths. The other 94 percent accounts for those who were wounded in action, or medically evacuated due to injury or disease, or both.
The statistics also show that currently, only half of veterans eligible for health care have been treated, with approximately 9,700 new veteran patients added per month.
Less than half of those eligible for veterans disability benefits have filed disability claims, with approximately 9,500 new claims filed each month. An additional 21 percent are awaiting decisions on their claims.
Of those treated by Veterans Affairs, more than half have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and almost a third have potential post-traumatic stress disorder.
There have been almost half a million calls to the VA’s Veteran Crisis Line – from veterans, active duty service members, family and friends. There have been 16,855 “rescues” of suicidal veterans and service members.