“[The] war in Iraq will soon belong to history, and your service belongs to the ages…”
Those were some of the words that President Barack Obama shared with the troops at Fort Bragg shortly before Christmas of 2011. The President assured the troops of their place in history, thanked them for their service, and told them that they had the support and pride of the United States of America.
But Many Iraq Veterans Continue Their Battles at Home
Many veterans returned from the Iraq war struggling with mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to statistics provided by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), veterans of the Iraq war had higher rates of PTSD than veterans of the war in Afghanistan. However, the rate of mental health conditions for both groups of veterans is high and includes:
- 10%-18% of veterans having PTSD
- 3%-25% of veterans suffering from depression
Other problems such as excessive drinking or drug use and difficulty interacting with others have also been reported.
While the VA reports that many veterans are getting treatment, there are many who are not and the VA is hoping to reach these individuals to let them know that help is available. There should be no social stigma to seeking help; PTSD does not make you weak, but rather is a medical condition deserving of treatment.
PTSD Is a Serious Illness
Iraq veterans suffering from PTSD may face a number of challenges, including difficulty finding employment, issues with relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, or suicide. It can interfere with every aspect of your life.
If you or your loved one is suffering from PTSD after returning home from Iraq, it is important to learn more about the resources available to you and to find out if you may be eligible for veterans’ disability benefits. Please contact Morgan & Weisbrod today to learn more about your rights and to get all of the benefits you’ve earned through your service to our country.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.