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Letter: Give soldiers the chance to heal

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

U.S. military suicides have claimed more lives than combat-related deaths in Afghanistan. Last month marked the start of our 10th year there. It’s time to ask, why are we sending troubled soldiers back into combat?

The American Journal of Public Health this year published a study estimating that 20-50 percent of those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). With our military over-stretched, many of those same troops are being sent back to war.

The New York Times, citing interviews with soldiers and health care workers, described the "warrior transition unit" at Fort Carson and similar posts as "warehouses of despair, where damaged men and women are kept out of sight, fed a diet of prescription pills and treated harshly by non-commissioned officers." We are sending troops into the battlefield with a gun in one hand and a handful of pills in the other.

Defense Secretary Robert ...

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