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349 homicides by returning US military personnel

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Gromit | 14:12 Mon 14th Jan 2008 | News
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A US study yesterday claimed that at least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have been implicated in a killing in the US since returning from combat.

The report by the New York Times also found 349 homicides involving all active-duty military personnel and new veterans - not just those involved in Iraq and Afghanistan - since the present wartime period began with the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

This represented a nearly 90 percent increase in such killings compared to the six years before 2001, the paper reported.

More than half the 121 killings in which Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were implicated involved guns, and the rest included stabbings, beatings, strangulations and bathtub drowning, the study claimed. All but one of those implicated was male.

About a third of the victims were girlfriends or relatives, including a two-year-old girl killed by her 20-year-old father while he was recovering from wounds sustained in Iraq.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jse ssionid=ST3OHONO4LBDRQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/ news/2008/01/14/whunt114.xml

Soldiers becoming brutalised. Is this an unavoidable consequence of war?

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Is this an unavoidable consequence of war?
Yes and no

From my own experiences coming back from places such as N.I, Gulf War etc the British Army have a fantastic way of coping with PTSD, they get locked in their barracks for a few days, talk to an Army Phycologist (who are normally insane) then go to the NAAFI and get as p1ssed as a rat, have a fight and go home for copious amounts of sex. If the returning Service personel experince any symptoms such as waking up covered from head to toe in the dreaded 'cold night sweat' (fcuking 'orrible that is for the other half), then they can talk about to a specially trainede person who, by and large can get the guy back to normal (whatever normal is for a squaddie) ASAP. There is also the excellent SSAFA:
http://www.ssafa.org.uk/ and Combat Stress http://www.combatstress.org.uk/ organisations for the guys to go to, there is no shame these days in admitting that problems when returning from a war zone, the MOD have realised the 20th/21st century warfare takes it's toll on the human mind.
As far as I know, our U.S cousins have no such network, so there is enevvitably going to be problems
enevvitably?

As you can see, civvy life has an adverse effect on ones ability to spell. I should have said inevitably

Doh!!
I can fully endorse Johns reply above, and not add too much, but believe me, when a soldier comes back from a combat zone, he/she (in my day it was all he's), is still all fired up, and to all intents and purposes, is mentally still on active service.

A small thing like a car backfiring, a firework, there's lots of things that'll set him off.

Something i'm not proud of, after my tour of Aden, 1967, asleep in the armchair, my mother shook me awake, and i floored her.

Its a long time ago now, but I ended up seeing a Psychiatrist before I could settle,

I only mention that, to show that I fully understand what these people are going through.
I emphasise with the brave soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to be able to see who the enemy is, the cowardly planting of bombs left by the roadside, the sniper bullets and to cap it all to have to act with restraint for fear of a court martial.

The inbuilt fears are still there when they return. The hate and loathing will be ingrained and the release will be directed at people close to them.

Not enough is done to ensure they return as normal human beings and we have a lot to learn.
I think that it is all dependant on the mental stability of the individual in the first instance, even before they have been exposed to any combat situations.

Having said that those individuals who already have a mental problem are more likley to go over the edge when they have been exposed to violent situations.

One can just imagine some of the more aggressive ABers on this site and what violence they might get up to even though they may never have donned a uniform, .

They are violent enough with the written word, when they are only in some form of disagreement, over a subject. Who knows what they could be capable of?
I'd just like to respond tp aog's reply.

H's right when he says it depends on the mental stability of the individual, but only to an extent.

I was never involved in the Iraq wars, (too old), but Aden, three tours of NI, and a Middle Eastern posting I can't expand on, so as I said, I know what i'm talking about.

A few months living on a knife edge, every sound, smell and visuals have to be instantly evaluated and acted upon, otherwise it could mean the death of you and/or your mates.

Then you come back home, where people, even though they sympathise, don't understand, and your still reacting, watching rooftops, avoiding certain things in case they blow up etc,

The nature of the Army does attract some people with mental problems, but it makes little difference in a combat zone, because you never know how any individual will react in any given situation, unless the are your teammates, and are tried and trusted.

It can take years,sometimes never, to adjust to civilian life, and regardless of your mental stability before you went, you are changed forever.

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