Unlike other U.S. wars, the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have relied on a relatively small number of volunteers deployed multiple times. This combination puts an extreme mental toll on the women and men who serve and has put a spotlight on the increase in post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, cases among service members. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently reported that 15 percent of veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq currently suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The situation is even more severe for Latino veterans. There are more than 1.2 million Hispanic veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that 39 percent of Hispanic veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—a condition they will have to cope with for the rest of their lives. Despite this prevalence, however, the needs of Latino veterans are often overlooked. With more and more Latinos serving in the military, it is important that we understand the circumstances confronting this population so we can better support every veteran.
In a new CAP column, Amy Navvab looks at the reasons behind the recent rise of Latinos serving in the military and at the unique social and cultural barriers they face in receiving post-traumatic stress disorder treatment that is often a result of their service.
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