North Carolina News

New Findings

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports that the water contamination at Camp Lejeune occurred as early as 1953, four years earlier than previously reported. This new information estimates that between 33,000 and 53,000 marines and their families were exposed to the contamination. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has been provided this report, and it is hoped that it will assist in the evaluation of health related claims. Read more…

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Individualized Treatment Needed

A new Gulf War and Health Series by the Institute of Medicine reports that individualized treatments for veterans with Gulf War Syndrome are needed.  Gulf War Syndrome, characterized as a chronic multisystem illness (CMI), and defined as having symptoms in at least two of six categories–fatigue, mood and cognition, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and neurologic—which last for at least six months. Gulf War Syndrome affects at least one-third of veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The recommended treatment approaches include […]

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Shooting Tragedy & PTSD

In a recent Washington Post article, past Veterans Focus presenter Marshele Carter Waddell writes about the recent shooting deaths of Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield by fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh.  Ms. Waddell shares what she has learned from conducting workshops with the faith-based community, veterans, and their families on the topic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Read more…

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Military-Connected Youth and Substance Abuse

Researchers at the University of Southern California analyzed data from the new military module of the 2011 California Healthy Kids Survey, finding that military youth in middle and high schools with a deployed parent or sibling, showed increased drug and alcohol use.  Lead author Tamika Gilreath and her colleagues call for additional community and school-based programs for these youth stating, “The potential for strain and the trauma associated with multiple deployments in the past 10 years of war seem to […]

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Women’s Role in Combat Expanded

Upon unanimous recommendation by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule for female servicemembers. It is expected that this change will ensure that the best qualified and most capable servicemembers, regardless of gender, will be available to carry out the mission.  In order to meet this directive, military services will undertake an evaluation of all occupational performance standards to ensure they are up to date and gender-neutral; […]

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High Suicide Rates Continue

The Department of Defense has reported that during 2012, across all four branches of the military, more than 349 service members committed suicide.  These numbers come at the same time efforts to curb suicide in the armed branches have increased.  Advocates stress that services are needed not just for servicemembers, but also for their families, who are often the first to see problems in their loved ones.   Both governmental agencies and non-profits are working hard to provide prevention and educational […]

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Hearing Loss a Problem

Hearing loss is a preventable condition that has affected at least twenty-five percent of soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and it is not solely a combat-related condition.  Fort Bragg Spec. Jon Michael Cripps of the 18th Airborne Corps, whose hearing loss is attributed to the constant noise of computers, generators, and air conditioners states “You think about maybe getting wounded in battle, getting those kinds of scars,” but  “Losing your hearing is just not something you think […]

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Homeless Vet Programs Having an Impact

A new report from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicates that homelessness among veterans has decreased 17.2 percent since 2009.  Advocates and Veterans Affairs staff attribute this decline to the success of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, and the VA-HUD partnership which provides vouchers for veterans to rent from private market landlords. The numbers have not declined for all veteran groups though, as pointed out by advocates who report an increase in […]

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VA Finds High Rates

In a recently completed study by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), researchers found that sexual assault rates were higher than previously reported.   The study conducted using anonymous surveys mailed to 1,100 previously deployed female servicemembers found that 22.8 percent of women servicemembers reported experiencing sexual assault, and 48.6 percent reported experiencing sexual harassment.  The results of this study highlight the importance of providing ongoing prevention programs and the continuance of treatment programs for women servicemembers and veterans across the […]

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PTSD Rates Higher

New data from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shows that more Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans than previously reported have sought care for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The new numbers indicate that of the veterans who requested care, 30 percent were seeking care for PTSD, 4 percent more than previously reported.   The report also revised the total percentage of veterans seeking mental health treatment upwards to 53.3 percent. The numbers that were higher than expected are likely to […]

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