Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Mental toll on troops detailed; 1 in 4 Marines report killing Iraqi civilians
Strains shown in 17% of US combat forces
By Raja Mishra, Globe Staff | July 1, 2004
Nearly one in five US combat troops returning from war-torn Iraq suffered
from post-traumatic stress, major depression, or other serious mental afflictions,
according to new data detailing the psychological costs of the bloodiest war
in a generation.
A study conducted by the US Army shows that combat-related mental problems
have been higher among those who have served
in Iraq than in any military action since Vietnam.
It also paints the first broad statistical picture of the battlefield horrors
encountered by the American combatants on the front lines in Iraq. For instance,
one in four Marines surveyed reported killing Iraqi civilians. About one in
five Army members surveyed reported engaging in hand-to-hand combat. More
than 85 percent of those in Marine or Army combat units said they knew someone
who had been injured or killed. More than half said they had handled corpses
or human remains. The figures were based on soldiers' responses; the military
does not have statistics available to confirm them."