Combat is a major reason for injuries to military personnel, but people often make the mistake of assuming that it's the only cause. They think of the danger from injuries and fatalities as linked to whether or not a soldier is engaged in active conflict with an enemy force.
The number of American troops deployed at any one time is always changing. In terms of small numbers, it changes daily. But even larger, more drastic changes can happen throughout the year.
The basic branches of the military have very specific purposes. The Army is the "land warfare branch", while the Navy handles warfare at sea and the Air Force is in charge of maintaining aerial superiority. There is a lot of overlap, of course, such as the Marines often serving on land but being part of the Navy, but the general roles are well-defined. So, which one is the largest?
Wars can leave behind many battle scars, especially for the soldiers that fight them. Data compiled by researchers at Brown University shows that there are nearly one million veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars receiving disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Many veterans come back with serious physical injuries that leave substantial scars even after they heal. For some, though, these scars are "invisible" and internal. They are the product of serious emotional and mental damage done by time served in a war zone, and they can be debilitating.
People often talk about the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other serious injuries for members of the military as if that risk is the same for everyone who is in the service. However, while you could argue that many military jobs are inherently more dangerous than civilian jobs just because of where they take place, that doesn't mean all is equal.
Disabilities are not always as obvious to outsiders as amputations or spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis. Many disabilities may not stand out in the same way, but they can still have a drastic impact on a person's life. It's important not to overlook that impact in any way.
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.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are injuries that individuals suffer after having been subjected to some type of outward force. An individual may be diagnosed with a TBI after becoming involved in a car crash, being involved in a contact-sports incident or an assault. These types of events don't speak very much as to how service members often end up with TBIs, though.
In the heat of their military service, soldiers may not spend all that much time thinking about the purity of the air that they're breathing. When they finish serving and move on with their lives, though, that air could become quite important. If it was contaminated in some way, they could experience long-term respiratory issues.