Mental illness costing military soldiers – USATODAY.com
Mental illness costing military soldiers
A U.S. Marine with a bag full of sample tubes between his feet while taking psychological tests at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2009.
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
The number of soldiers forced to leave the Army solely because of a mental disorder has increased by 64% from 2005 to 2009 and accounts for one in nine medical discharges, according to Army statistics.
Last year, 1,224 soldiers with a mental illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, received a medical discharge. That was an increase from 745 soldiers in 2005 or about 7% of medical discharges that year, according to personnel statistics provided to USA TODAY.
The trend matches other recent indicators that show a growing emotional toll on a military that has been fighting for seven years in Iraq and nine years in Afghanistan, the Army and veterans advocates say.