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From War Zones To Jail: Veteran Reintegration Problems

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Subject: [VeteranIssues] From War Zones to Jail: Veteran Reintegration ProblemsDate: Jun 4, 2011 10:29 AM


Long article, study

The article’s Abstract states:

When individuals return home from war they are not the same individuals who left for

war. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been on-going since October 2001, and nearly two

million service members have been deployed to these wars – many have been deployed multiple

times. When military personnel return from war, and are discharged from military service, they

are issued the label of veteran. Initially, this term has little meaning or significance to

individuals recently released from military service. As they begin their process of reintegrating

back into the civilian culture the term veteran begins to develop meaning for many veterans.

That meaning is influenced by factors such as interpersonal relationships, education, and

employment/unemployment experiences. Depending upon the level of influence that the Military

Total Institution has had on the veteran, which includes the veteran’s combat experiences, many

veterans find themselves confronted with mental health issues, particularly posttraumatic stress

disorder (PTSD), which is an artifact of her or his combat experiences. A significant number of

veterans with PTSD symptoms have turned to alcohol as a form of self-medication. Many

veterans with PTSD say that alcohol reduces nightmares and difficulties initiating and

maintaining sleep (DIMS). In many instances the experiences of war, PTSD, alcohol, combined

with lethargic civilian attitudes of the problems veterans confront provides the ingredients of a

recipe designed to accelerate the probability of increased veteran incarceration. This article

addresses the aforementioned issues by analyzing the data collected during a study of 162 Iraq

and Afghanistan veterans during a 15-month period, and spanning across 16 states. The data

strongly suggest that veterans with PTSD and alcohol use/dependency issues related to combat

increase the probability of veteran criminal justice entanglements.

A few para’s extracted

Nine to 60 months after demobilization many veterans began to go through changes.

They notice - often for the first time - growing apathy, alienation, depression, mistrust,

cynicism, and expectation of betrayal, as well as difficulty in concentrating, insomnia,

restlessness, nightmares, up rootedness, and impatience with almost any situation or


nearly all participants who went to the VA for mental health issues expressed dismay

and disgust at the services and treatment they received.

the Institute of Medicine noted:

In going around the country, the committee gathered qualitative data. It heard the

same problems repeated on the West Coast and the East Coast, in the North and

South, by health care providers, by active duty service men and women, and by

veterans: there are not enough mental health providers to meet the demand, case

managers and providers are overwhelmed, wait times are too long for

appointments and between appointments for those in need of mental health and

other services, confidentiality and stigma associated with seeking care for mental

illness is a significant concern of active duty service members, job training and

loss of jobs due to multiple deployments are issues, the ability to diagnose and

treat traumatic brain injuries is a problem, and medical care for National Guard

and reserve forces is an issue as they transition between active duty and civilian

life (Institute of Medicine, 2010: xiii

__._,_.___"Keep on, Keepin' on"

Dan Cedusky, Champaign IL "Colonel Dan"

See my web site at:



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