After more than a decade of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are coming home. For many, it’s a wonderful time, to return to family and a normal life. But for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury, the transition is a rough road. In New Hampshire, more a quarter who fought in these wars say they’ve struggled with PTSD, and a fifth with some kind of brain injury.
The backlog of disability claims under review by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has shrunk dramatically since earlier this year. But the VA's offices in New England still have more than 18,000 pending claims.
The Department of Veteran Affairs expects to spend $57 billion in 2013. A significant part of that budget pays for nursing home care for elderly vets. This month, Washington Monthly magazine is exploring American wealth. Editor John Gravois wrote about the V.A. program that follows the foster care model.
After ten years since the War on Terror began, many service members have come back with visible injuries, but many others have come home with less obvious wounds associated with military service; like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and a high suicide rate. We’ll look at these problems, where the system is working and failing, and what some are trying to do to help.