Our Bergmann & Moore blog posted on October 15, 2012, about posttraumatic stress disorder among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans prompted several news articles, including The Daily Beast and Army Times. Bergmann & Moore also received requests to release the entire reports to the public.
Therefore, to inform the public about the human costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Bergmann & Moore posts the following three reports prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
- Healthcare Use. Published each fiscal quarter by VA’s Veterans Health Administration (VHA), this report reveals that more than 834,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have been treated and diagnosed by healthcare professionals at VHA hospitals and clinics. At present, VHA treats approximately 10,000 new, first-time Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran patients each month.
- PTSD Diagnoses. Published each fiscal quarter by VHA, this report reveals that more than 247,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were diagnosed by VHA healthcare professionals with posttraumatic stress disorder. At present, VHA diagnoses approximately 4,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran patients with PTSD each month.
- Benefit Activity. Published each month by VA’s Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), this report describes non-medical benefit activity among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, including disability compensation, education, home loan guaranty, and other VBA programs. VBA’s most report reveals more than 745,000 disability claims were filed by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans against VBA. There are more than 186,000 claims pending, more than 20 percent of VA’s nearly 900,000 claim inventory backlog. At present, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans file approximately 9,000 new disability claims against VBA each month.
Here are a few key points about VA’s reports regarding Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans:
- VA uses the term “Global War on Terror” to describe the Iraq and Afghanistan wars zones, also known as Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn.
- These reports are about veterans who deployed to the war zones in and around Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. These reports exclude non-deployed veterans.
- These reports about veterans contain information only about veterans’ healthcare use and activities with VA. Veterans receiving healthcare or benefits from private groups or state and local governments are not included.
- VA does not release these reports to journalists or announce their existence with press releases or web site postings. VHA posts healthcare use and PTSD reports at obscure web site addresses. VBA’s benefit activity report is usually obtained only through the Freedom of Information Act.