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Veterans may struggle with memories of losing friends

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Veterans' Issues

Even veterans who return from a combat zone without any physical injuries may have serious mental and emotional challenges to overcome. For those who lost friends while they were there, and who may even have been present when those individuals lost their lives, this is not something that is easy to get over.

And, while fatalities are not as common for American troops in modern wars as they were in the major wars of the past, they still happen on a consistent basis. For instance, between 2006 and 2019, a total of 2,178 U.S. soldiers lost their lives in Iraq alone. That’s not counting Afghanistan or any other theater. Not only does that mean thousands of families have lost loved ones in the conflict, but that countless other soldiers that they served with have been impacted by these deaths.

The way that the fatalities occur varies. For 48% of those listed above, the cause was IEDs, which are typically roadside bombs. Since they caused about half of the deaths, it’s clear that they’re one of the biggest risks American soldiers face.

In fact, when looking at the 52% who did not lose their lives to bombs, 37% of the total were not in combat when they passed away. Often, they were just killed in accidents. Some died due to self-inflicted injuries.

No matter how someone passes away in a combat zone, it tends to be traumatic, shocking and sudden. These are the emotional and mental weights that soldiers must deal with at home, and they can be disabling. Those who are suffering need to know what medical care they can get and what legal options they have to obtain the benefits and assistance that they need.

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