For Many Veterans, the Battles Don’t End With the War

It seems so easy. We pass a veteran in uniform in an airport or on the street and we nod and say, “Thank you for your service.” It is a gracious greeting that is much appreciated by these men and women who have fought or stood bravely for the ideals of freedom for which America stands. But the fact is that, though veterans respond in kind to appreciation, many have brought the battlefield home with them in various ways. >> …

Military Caregivers Need More Support, Study Shows

The family members who provide care for the nation’s  wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars need more support than they’re getting, says a study of military caregivers released today by the RAND Corporation. The largest-ever survey of more than 1,000 military caregivers found that 25 percent are soldiers’ parents, many of whom are growing older themselves and who will not always be up to the task. “These post 9/11 caregivers are providing invaluable support to the veterans they’re caring for,” says Rajeev Ramchand, a behavioral …

Did You Welcome Home the Troops 40 Years Ago?

Forty years ago today, the last American combat troops left Vietnam. The events of that day aren’t imprinted on the national consciousness, as are images of overloaded helicopters taking off from Saigon. That evacuation of American personnel and Vietnamese refugees happened two years later, in 1975. Today’s anniversary brings up an embarrassing and troubling set of emotions for some of us who questioned the war long ago. According to the Associated Press, “Forty years ago, soldiers returning from Vietnam were …

PTSD Vets: Don’t Ask for a Service Dog

For years, I’ve written articles about the power therapy dogs have over people with dementia, loneliness and behavioral problems. My own sweet springer spaniel was a certified service dog I’d take to nursing homes. Of course, you don’t have to have any of those issues to find them comforting. (When my father was dying, he asked for my dog.) So my human ears perked up when I read that a federal regulation that went into effect last week still does …