Scars and pains of military service felt long after service ends

This weekend, people will be lighting fireworks, going to parties and celebrating our nations Independence Day. The Fourth of July is certainly a time to have fun and relax, but it should also be a time when people take a moment to remember what it took and continues to take to secure and protect our independence.

Unfortunately, many of those who have fought for this country have given their lives and health for such an endeavor. Those who survive still experience painful scars and health problems indefinitely as a result of their military service, even if they were not suffered in active combat.

Millions of veterans have left active duty in far worse physical and mental health than when they entered. In fact, a survey of Iran and Afghanistan war veterans conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 80 percent of veterans are suffering from conditions categorized as non-hostile. This means, according to the source, that they were “not the direct result of an enemy attack.”

The survey goes on to reveal some of these non-hostile injuries and conditions. They include:

  • Back, neck and joint pain
  • Sleeplessness
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Ringing in their ears
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Stress

All of these conditions can significantly affect veterans, whether they were suffered as a result of direct combat or not. The fact is that fighting in a war and being in the military is extraordinarily demanding, both physically and mentally. 

Many of the veterans suffering from these and other conditions may be able to receive financial support from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help cope with their physical and mental injuries. The money available through veterans’ benefits may not be enough to fix every problem, but it can be crucial in helping veterans and their families cope with service-related health problems and get the care they need.