Monday, May 30, 2016

Veterans With Multiple Tours of War Overseas Struggle at Home

There is a quote in the following article on New York Times that deserves attention. "The military is very good at identifying and amplifying the psychological factors that make a high-performing fighter." While they do a fantastic job of training these men and women to fight in combat, they do a lousy job of training them to fight for their own lives.

That is evident when you read more about the high rate of suicides in those with multiple deployments. When you think about the simple fact they survived all the hardships and risk to their lives, but cannot survive being home, that screams a message of how the DOD still does not understand them.

Those With Multiple Tours of War Overseas Struggle at Home
The New York Times
By BENEDICT CAREY
MAY 29, 2016

Ryan Lundeby, 32, an Army Ranger with
five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times
An analysis of Army data shows that, unlike most of the military, these soldiers’ risk of committing suicide actually drops when they are deployed and soars after they return home. For the 85 percent of soldiers who make up the rest of the service and were deployed, the reverse is true.

FORT WORTH, Tex. — The dinner crowd was sparse for a downtown steakhouse, a handful of families and couples lost in conversations. Ryan Lundeby, 32, an Army Ranger with five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, took in the scene from his table, seemingly meditative beneath his shaved head and long beard.

He was not.

“He watches, he’s always watching; he notices everything,” said his wife, Mary. “Superman noticing skills, that’s what I call it. Look, he’s doing it now — Ryan?”

“He watches, he’s always watching; he notices everything,” said his wife, Mary. “Superman noticing skills, that’s what I call it. Look, he’s doing it now — Ryan?”

“That table over there,” Mr. Lundeby said, his voice soft, his eyes holding a line. 


“The guy threw his straw wrapper on the ground. I’m waiting to see if he picks it up.”

He did not. Mr. Lundeby’s breathing slowed.

After 14 years of war, the number of veterans with multiple tours of combat duty is the largest in modern American history — more than 90,000 soldiers and Marines, many of them elite fighters who deployed four or more times. New evidence suggests that these veterans are not like most others when it comes to adjusting to civilian life.
read more here