This October 2014 New York Times investigation by C.J. Chivers is about more than just the discovery of old chemical weapons in Iraq—it’s about how shabbily we still treat our troops when they return home. We leave our all-volunteer army with inadequate medical care, emotional trauma, and fragile families. Here are six stories on our veterans.
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1. The Shooter (Phil Bronstein, Center for Investigative Reporting / Esquire, 2013)
The man who killed Osama bin Laden—out of the Navy, without health care, pension or protection for himself and his family.
2. ‘Ugh. I Miss It’ (Eli Saslow, Washington Post, 2014)
A veteran’s difficult transition from military to civilian life. Reported by Saslow, a 2014 Pulitzer recipient, and part of a multi-part series “examining the effects of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on the 2.6 million American troops who served and fought.”
3. Is PTSD Contagious? (Mac McClelland, Mother Jones, 2013)
A look at the families who are not just affected by returning veterans, but display similar symptons:
“Brannan and Katie’s teacher have conferenced about Katie’s behavior many times. Brannan’s not surprised she’s picked up overreacting and yelling—you don’t have to be at the Vines residence for too long to hear Caleb hollering from his room, where he sometimes hides for 18, 20 hours at a time, and certainly not if you’re there during his nightmares, which Katie is.”
4. Honor Betrayed (James Risen, The New York Times, 2013)
A two-part series on sexual abuse and homelessness among female veterans in the U.S.
5. Why Noah Went to the Woods (Mark Sundeen, Outside, 2012)
Retracing the steps of a Marine who went missing in the Montana wilderness.
6. Veterans’ Struggle (Anna Fifield, Financial Times, 2012)
U.S. soldiers return home to face a culture that doesn’t understand them:
“With a few notable exceptions—such as vice-president Joe Biden’s son Beau—the children of the elite have not served in these wars. It’s a sharp change from the night of Pearl Harbor, when Eleanor Roosevelt told a radio audience, ‘I have a boy at sea on a destroyer, for all I know he may be on his way to the Pacific.’”
Photo: soldiersmediacenter, Flickr