Counting the cost

August 31, 2010

“War is not healthy for children and other living things.” That
consciously obvious claim—a favored bumper sticker in the 1960s—came to
mind while reading a report in USA Today saying that one in four soldiers at the nation’s largest army post have been in counseling during the past year.

number would probably be even higher if the mental health services at
Fort Hood, Texas, could keep up with all the requests for help. The
number of demands overwhelm the counselors—and that’s despite the fact
that acknowledging a need for counseling still carries a stigma in the

Depression and post-traumatic stress are common
problems, especially among those who have gone through several
deployments in war zones.

"I don't think we fully understand the
total effect of nine years of continuous conflict on a force this
size," said Peter Chiarelli, an army chief of staff. Don’t understand
that waging war is not healthy for human beings?