Sadly, soldiers who are brave enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country are often unprepared for the sacrifices that surviving combat may require. The wounds that U.S. troops come home with ravage both body and mind. Missing limbs, facial disfigurements, PTSD, depression and massive burns are just some of the common maladies that plague soldiers returning from combat.
More than 1.6 million troops have returned from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over half are receiving health care through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. (More commonly known as the VA.) Nearly half of those sustaining injury are seeking compensation for their disability as it prevents or impedes their ability to join the civilian work-force. Frustrating for those filing, these claims often can take 100 days or more to process, a long time to wait for someone enduring pain and suffering. However, though it may take far too long, the VA and the federal government are handing out lots of money to lots of people. Personal injury lawyers in Pinellas County help regular individuals with their claims, but injured vets need help from lawyers with specific knowledge of veterans benefits. Just finding an attorney who fits this bill can add more stress and frustration to the lives of injured troops.
The new vets making claims join more than 20 million veterans from previous U.S. wars. Additionally, there are 34 million family members of living and deceased soldiers who are receiving some form of financial compensation. Shockingly, that is nearly 18 percent of the entire country’s population receiving some form of benefit from the government.
While the U.S. presence in Iraq is being drastically reduced, and the combat coming to a close, the costs will continue to accrue. Returning to civilian life can be nearly as hard as combat itself, with the psychic and physical toll that were taken continuing to have effect. Those who sacrifice for society need be taken care of in return, but the cost is mounting, and taxpayers will share the burden.