By Brenda L. Mooney
BOSTON – The overwhelming majority of veterans of U.S. conflicts since the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 are nothing like the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-addled, homeless opioid-addicts too often depicted in the media and in political campaigns.
In fact, according to a new study appearing in Journal of Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, most servicemembers who were discharged from the military this century apparently are doing well with their careers and family life, despite exposure to war zones.1
The research was conducted by the Women’s Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD at the VA Boston Healthcare System, the Boston University School of Medicine and the National Center for PTSD at the White River Junction, VT, VAMC.
Study authors pointed out that more than 2.4 million servicemembers have left the military since the Afghanistan and Iraq wars began, with another one million or so expected to separate from service in the next six years.
To determine how they and their families negotiated the many changes that come with the transition and reintegration process, the researchers surveyed a national sample of 524 post-9/11 veterans — 282 women and 240 men –to evaluate their quality of work and home life. They also were questioned about PTSD.
Results indicated that only 3% of the men reported being unemployed and seeking work. Among employed men, 90% reported working full-time with a median income of $50,000-75,000, and more than 80% of men reporting that they were somewhat or very satisfied with their jobs. While about a fourth of the men said they had some impairment in their occupational functioning, only 2% said it got in their way occurred often or always.