Since September 11, 2001, over two million Americans have been sent off to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. More than half of them have been deployed more than once, and many four times or more. But for those soldiers who return from war alive, the effects of the war follow them home, staying with them for the rest of their lives, often destroying them.
The Damage of War – Dead, Maimed, Injured
- Over 7,800 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- More than 360,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have suffered brain injuries, nearly tripling over the past decade.
- Over 20 percent of U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered blows to the face, neck or head.
- About 1,700 U.S. soldiers have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan, including seared skin, shattered bones and damaged internal organs.
- At least 18 percent of female and 20 percent of male soldiers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder.
- As many as one in three female soldiers are raped by male members of the military.
Lives Ripped Apart – Divorce, Unemployment, Homelessness, Suicide
- In 2011, the average unemployment rate for veterans aged 18-24 was 30.2 percent.
- In 2009, 75,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffered from long-term unemployment, of more than six months.
- The divorce rate among military couples has increased 42 percent throughout the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- For veterans who need help with basic daily functions, most often the responsibilities of caregiving fall on the spouse or parents.
- On any given night, around 120,000-200,000 veterans are homeless, living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, on the streets, in cars or abandoned buildings. That is about 23 percent of the total homeless population.
- Of the more than 30,000 suicides in this country each year, more than 20 percent of them are veterans.
- On average, 18 veterans commit suicide every day.
The policy of the U.S. military towards soldiers is to use them up and then throw them away. The lives of U.S. soldiers don’t mean anything to the U.S. military except to fuel the war machine.