Tuesday, May 24, 2011

~* Stats from CNN *~

War by the numbers

Iraq war

Ramona & Robert Nichols Began in March 2003. Official combat operations ended last August but 47,000 U.S. troops remain as transitional forces. They are scheduled to begin coming home this summer.

Afghanistan war

Rebecca Nichols Began in October 2001. About 90,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed.

2.2 million

Number of troops that have served in the nation's longest running wars, according to the Pentagon.

Invisible wounds

Combat stress

Rebecca Nichols About 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from a psychological condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Symptoms include sleep disturbance, nightmares, anxiety, irritability, anger and depression.

Brain injury

Rebecca Nichols About 68 percent of the combat wounded also suffer from traumatic brain injury or TBI. This is a signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where soldiers are subjected to blasts and concussions. A 2008 Rand study said: "Closed head wounds from blasts, which can damage the brain without leaving an external mark, are especially prevalent in Iraq." If detected, both PTSD and TBI are treatable.

Alcohol abuse

12 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans report alcohol problems on post-deployment health assessment forms. (Source: 2009 Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans of America (IAVA) study)

Only 0.2 percent were referred to treatment. One reason for the low treatment rate could be because it is not confidential. (Source: IAVA study)


1,100 members of the armed forces took their own lives between 2005 and 2009 -- an average of one suicide every 36 hours. (Source: Department of Defense task force study)

6,500 veterans commit suicide each year. (Source: The Veterans Administration) Vets make up 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for about 20 percent of suicides.
I got this information directly from a story on cnn.com this morning, and I can't find the words to express my feelings toward these statistics. I'm both angry and sad. I want to find a way to help these men, and to ensure that it doesn't happen to my Soldier. I just...don't know how.

Monday, May 23, 2011

~* You'll Lose the Battle with the Bottle *~

Life is full of stress, some major, most minor. A lot of it is in your perspective. I'm a hopeless optimist, so I tend to view a lot of stressors as minor. Mr. M doesn't view a lot of things as stressors period, so when he is stressed, it's always something major. He has, and this is a quote, 3 ways of dealing with stress. 1) going to the gym 2) "adult time" and 3) drinking. Sigh.

We've both been really stressed about our current financial situation lately. I don't need to expand on this subject. I've already touched on it before, and really, nobody wants to hear about anyone else's financial struggles. Saturday, I got called in to work to cover for V. until 3pm. I wasn't thrilled, because I had really been looking forward to spending the entire day with my hubby, but I didn't complain because every penny helps.

After he picked me up from work, we went to a friend's house for a small barbecue. Everyone was drinking, except the pregnant girl and the minors (of course). But nobody was drinking nearly as much as Mr. M. Instead of drinking beer like the rest of us, he downed an entire bottle of Red Stag in maybe an hour or so. The aftermath was not attractive.

Yesterday morning, I asked him about it. That's when I got the "3 stress relievers" response. I understand, better than most people, the idea behind wanting to drink your problems away. But I also know, better than most, that when it comes down to it, you'll never win the battle between you and the bottle.
" Don't place your better days in the future."