Many American military personnel who serve in Iraq are sent back for a second tour of duty. Some are returned for a third tour, and some are even forced to go back for a fourth time.
Needless to say, with every additional tour of duty the risk of death or serious injury increases. Not surprisingly, so does the risk of serious mental or emotional problems of the type generally known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Army leaders are expressing increased alarm about the mental health of soldiers who would be sent back to the front again and again under plans that call for troop numbers to be sustained at high levels in Iraq for this year and beyond.
Among combat troops sent to Iraq for the third or fourth time, more than one in four show signs of anxiety, depression or acute stress, according to an official Army survey of soldiers’ mental health.
The stress of long and multiple deployments to Iraq is just one of the concerns being voiced by senior military officers in Washington as Gen. David H. Petraeus, the senior Iraq commander, prepares to tell Congress this week that he is not ready to endorse any drawdowns beyond those already scheduled through July.
If the IED's don't get you, living under fire will.
Is this what's generally referred to as "support our troops"?