Senators Harkin and Feingold Introduce Veteran Suicide Tracking Bill plus a study indicates that TBI vets need more care
I was hoping that Jim Staro would post more information about this... just saw it via the Vets4Politics
This is a straight blockquote, but I thought the one comment on the Des Moines paper so incredibly sad.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Russ Feingold, D-Wis., introduced legislation Tuesday requiring the Veterans Administration to track veteran suicides.
Currently, the VA records suicides and suicide attempts in VA facilities, but does not track how many veterans commit suicide each year outside of those facilities.
VA records show that the number of veterans who kill themselves in VA facilities increased from 492 in 2000 to 790 in 2007.
A recent report by the Rand Corp. also shows that nearly 300,000 American military personnel returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.
Harkin and Feingold said that puts returning veterans at risk for suicide.
From Roxy, a study in Technology Review
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is all too common on battlefields where blasts from improvised explosive devices pose a constant danger (see "Brain Trauma in Iraq"). Today, U.S. troops do not have adequate resources for TBI prevention, diagnosis, rehabilitation, or treatment. But fortunately, things are beginning to improve.
According to an army report released in February, 11 percent of 2,994 soldiers surveyed in Iraq and Afghanistan showed signs of mild brain injury, but fewer than half of those injured were identified and evaluated in the field. The Defense and Veteran Brain Injury Center has urged that troops be screened for TBI upon discharge. As cochair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, I proposed that the military prescreen all personnel before they even set foot on the battlefield and continue diagnostic analysis until the day they return to their communities. The Pentagon will soon require that troops be checked as they come home.