According to various veterans groups, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has not done enough to prevent suicides among troops that suffer from PTSD that return from such wars as Afghanistan and Iraq. In the class-action lawsuit
, the groups claim that the V.A. has not done enough. They cite examples of not those that return from the war zone have not been given adequate medical care.
This lawsuit was filed back in July 2007. Two non-profit groups brought up the lawsuit together. In the suit, the two groups say that the V.A. has not properly dealt with the increase of mental health problems amongst those that had returned. The most common problem was PTSD.
In a report back in mid-March, about 60,000 veterans suffer from PTSD. The V.A. had reported that twenty-two percent of women suffer through more sexual and mental trauma in the military, let alone serving overseas. This is a combination of the frontlines and being deployed with a unit.
I had written an article about the case of one woman who is part of the statistic. Her name is Keri Christensen
, who did fight in Iraq. She is the first female combat veteran. Christensen had explained that the stress of combat was not the only thing she had to deal with. The other thing she had to deal with was sexual harassment from one of her superiors.
In a sense, that case and the lawsuit are parallel.
But, the government lawyers have said otherwise. They said that they had put forth more resources to mental health. At the same time, the V.A. lawyers have given the argument that it is not up to the courts to dictate how the department works.
It is revealed that at least eighteen veterans commit suicide each day. Five of them are actually under the care of the department. What that means is that in one year, 6,570 veterans had committed suicide. That would be eighteen veterans for each day. 6,588 is the total when you count leap years. It would also mean that 1,825 committed suicide while under the care of the V.A.
While it says that at least eighteen veterans commit suicide each day, the number is not definite. The number could increase to twenty, twenty-five, or higher. When the numbers are accumulated, they do add up.
This could be possible ammunition to use later on in the general US Presidential elections. The issue of Iraq has been the main platform for the campaign of presumptive GOP nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain said that Iraq will either make or break his candidacy.