America will be living with the human costs of the Iraq war for a long time.
As many as 300,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or serious depression, according to a Rand Corp. report released last week â€” and the costs could reach $6.2 billion in the next two years alone. About 1 in 5 vets of the war report symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
The study, titled â€œInvisible Wounds of War,â€ warned of â€œlong-term, cascading consequencesâ€ for the country, including higher rates of veteran suicide, divorce, drug use and unemployment.
At the same time, the study found that major gaps in mental health care for vets remain: Only 53 percent of vets with PTSD sought professional help in the past year, and half of those who did get help received â€œminimally adequateâ€ care.