Bush Tells Jokes, Troops Have Hellish Nightmares
"A year ago my approval rating was in the 30s, my nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn, and my vice president had shot someone. Ah, those were the good ol' days."
-George W. Bush cracking jokes as troops continue to die and live in hell
“Imagine you’re home in bed, sound asleep, then you wake up and hear glass breaking in your children’s room.
“Now imagine feeling that way for a year.”
The waking nightmare has followed Fort Carson Sgt. Christopher Cain and more than 1,500 other local soldiers home from Iraq.
Most of the mental health problems faced by homecoming troops are mild, Fort Carson officials say. Up to a third report a little sleeplessness here or paranoia there, the post’s top doctor said. These symptoms will disappear after a month or so at home for all but a few.
But a growing number of cases are more severe, like Cain’s. Nearly 600 Fort Carson soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder last year, up from 102 cases in 2003 when soldiers started returning from their first tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the fourth straight year with a significant increase in the number of soldiers being diagnosed with PTSD.
With symptoms that range from hyperawareness to angry outbursts, PTSD is an anxiety reaction to traumatic events, which Iraq brings by the truckload. It plagues up to 10 percent of soldiers returning from war.
Now the military is discovering a new problem. Substantial numbers of troops are showing lingering signs of traumatic brain injuries suffered in Iraq, mainly concussions caused by roadside bombs.
All this can add up to some scary side effects.