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Study shows combat vets more likely to murder

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It’s hard to believe, or even imagine, what many American soldiers have endured while fighting for our country. We’ve all heard of post traumatic stress disorder, and many people may have experienced it first hand with Vietnam War veterans.

With this generation of combat veterans, we’re experiencing something a little more shocking.

According to the Associated Press, psychological trauma may have caused an entire Army unit of combat veterans to murder almost 11 people upon returning home.

A recent comprehensive examination by an Army task force of medical experts looked at members of Fort Carson’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Their nickname is the Lethal Warriors.

The Lethal Warriors are accused of five killings in 2007 around Colorado Springs and another six since 2005.

The report analyzed that unit and a similar unit and noticed that the Lethal Warriors suffered more combat deaths and were also deployed longer. According to the report, Fort Carson 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division unit suffered 113 combat deaths.

The study suggests “a possible association between increasing levels of combat exposure and risk for negative behavioral outcomes, [and that soldiers face] significant disruptions in family-social support.”

When the GI’s were approached about why they didn’t receive mental health attention, according to the AP, they were “too afraid of being belittled.”

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, the Army’s deputy chief of staff told the AP that between 2004 and 2008, 2,726 Army soldiers were involved in violent crimes out of a force of 1.1 million. He also said that at least 121 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have committed a killing in the U.S. or had been charged with one.

andrea @ July 23, 2009

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