2007 was the most violent year of the war ever, and the psychiatric damage of soldiers seems to be growing daily with longer deployments.
The Associated Press story was written by Pauline Jelinek and published today 5/27/08. Here's how it startes off:
The number of troops with new cases of post-traumatic stress disorder jumped by roughly 50 percent in 2007 amid the military buildup in Iraq and increased violence there and in Afghanistan.
Records show roughly 40,000 troops have been diagnosed with the illness, also known as PTSD, since 2003. Officials believe that many more are likely keeping their illness a secret.
"I don't think right now we ... have good numbers," Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker said Tuesday.
Defense officials had not previously disclosed the number of PTSD cases from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Army statistics showed there were nearly 14,000 newly diagnosed cases across the services in 2007 compared with more than 9,500 new cases the previous year and 1,632 in 2003.A little further down, Ms. Jelinek writes further:
Factors increasing troop exposure to combat in 2007 included President Bush's troop buildup and the fact that 2007 was the most violent year in both conflicts.
More troops also were serving their second, third or fourth tours of duty — a factor mental health experts say dramatically increases stress. And in order to supply enough forces for the buildup, officials also extended tour lengths to 15 months from 12, another factor that caused extra emotional strain.
She writes further:
The accounting of diagnosed cases released Tuesday shows those hardest hit last year were Marines and Army personnel, the two ground forces bearing the brunt of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Army reported more than 10,000 new cases last year, compared with more than 6,800 new cases the previous year. More than 28,000 soldiers altogether were diagnosed with the disorder over the last five years, the data showed.
SSgt. Travis Twiggs, The War Within, PTSD, video lasts 3:44
The Marine Corps had more than 2,100 new cases in 2007, compared with 1,366 in 2006. More than 5,000 Marines have been diagnosed with PTSD since 2003, the data showed.
Wartime PTSD cases jumped roughly 50 pct. in 2007 - Yahoo! News.