More than 700,000 American troops served in Afghanistan from 2001. And many are crestfallen seeing the images coming from Kabul: the Taliban taking power, and Afghan residents dying to flee the country
Many service members returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will not suffer long term health/mental issues. Upon return, the vast majority report that their
experiences were rewarding, and they readjust to life off the battlefield with
The all-volunteer troops engaged in these extended military operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan have included more women, parents of young children, and
reserve and National Guard troops than those in previous conflicts.
Now with soldiers packing up base, they are finally being reunited with their families. In response to the surge of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans returning with
lingering problems, Congress required the Department of Defense (DoD) and
the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to study their physical and mental
health, and other readjustment needs.
The urgency of addressing these health, economic, and social issues is increased by the number of people affected, the rapid drawdown of military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the
long-term effects for service members, veterans,
their families, and the nation.