Channel 4 News (UK) reports:
America’s decade long “war on terror” has been deployment heavy, with little time at home in between.
That experience is translating into some worrying figures at America’s largest military base, Fort Hood, in Texas – home to 60,000 troops, one tenth of the US army. Channel 4 News was given exclusive access to the base, to look at their new arrangements for dealing with soldiers bearing the psychological and physical scars of war.
In the past six months at Fort Hood, soldiers have had 10,000 counselling sessions. Some 6,000 servicemen and women there are on anti-depressants, 1,400 on anti-psychotics.
It is a battle on the home front the US military never planned for. And it is scrambled to come up with the right kind of help for those soldiers who so desperately need it. There are now 36 of these so called “Warrior Transition Units” on bases across the US, currently caring for 9,000 soldiers.
The army says there are centres of excellence, designed to offer appropriate care within a military structure, to soldiers with complex, serious, physical and mental health problems. But the units have also been called warehouses for despair, where soldiers are overmedicated, and roughly treated.