Mental Illness In Soldiers

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Many American soldiers are troubled by the various aspects of warfare. In this world, the threat of war is always present. War by Sebastian Junger, as well as other sources, shows that the living standards for many current and former soldiers is grueling. This is because many troops suffer from mental illness, poor or no shelter, and soldiers can spend long periods of time away from their families and far from their homes, thus leading to several emotional consequences. Soldiers returning from deployment are often plagued by mental illness. Mental illness in soldiers has been slowly increasing for several years. This is apparent from the results of many studies. In March 2007, a study was conducted measuring the presence of mental illness…show more content…
To put it in perspective, the climate of Afghanistan includes excessively hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Troops that are deployed to Afghanistan, no matter what season, are given small, portable tents which do little to protect them from the harsh temperatures. The tents were introduced to the Army in the mid 19th century; “when they were first issued to the Army of the Potomac during the Peninsula campaign, soldiers used to relatively more commodious tents vilified the new ‘housing’” (“Thin, flimsy shelter tents…”). When introduced to the soldiers, they resented the shelter because they doubted the cramped and transparent tents would do them any good. Many of the men could not fit inside the tents which deemed them the nickname ‘dog tents’. The tents were called dog tents because, “the troops considered them fit only for dogs” (“Thin, flimsy shelter tents…”). The goal of the shelter tents was to create a lightweight solution to the problem many soldiers dealt with. The tents also did little to protect soldiers from rain and/or snow. Corporal James Sawyer of Company B, 18th Connecticut Infantry, remembered the cloth of his tent being so thin, “he ‘could see the moon through it’” (“Thin, flimsy shelter tents…”). A material so thin to the point where it’s transparent can in no way protect the troops from…show more content…
When on deployment, the soldier could spend several months away from their homes and families. Because of this, mental illness usually emerges. In fact, “AR soldiers who deployed multiple (two or more) times were significantly more likely than those who deployed once to screen positive for depression and alcohol concerns” (“Impact of Deployment”). Among symptoms of PTSD, depression and alcoholism are also present in many soldiers after deployment. Another study concludes that, “11% to 17% of combat veterans are at risk for mental disorders in 3 to 4 months after return from combat duty” (“Impact of Deployment”). When on combat duty, the soldiers life is constantly threatened. The mentality of fear containment is often referred to in Sebastian Junger’s War. Junger writes, “There are different kinds of strength, and containing fear might be the most profound, the one without which armies couldn’t function and wars couldn’t be fought.” (74). When a soldier returns from deployment, often they do not want to discuss what happened or what they saw because no one would understand. In addition, “upon mobilization, the lives of U.S. Army Reserve soldiers are disrupted because they are pulled from their families and civilian careers to deploy. After returning home, they are no longer surrounded by comrades on a daily basis who share similar deployment experiences” (“Impact of Deployment”). This
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