In graphic, heart-breaking detail, Dale Pierce gives a father’s account of the Post traumatic Stress, war crimes, and urgent need for mental health care for Veterans,leading to the suicide of his 23 year old son, Noah, after 2 tours of duty in Iraq.
September is Suicide Prevention Month for Veterans. The Covert Report supports all veterans and their families. Noah Pierce was not the only veteran wrestling with depression and PTSD. Ira R. Katz, Deputy Chief Patient Care Services Officer for Mental Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, became embroiled in scandal when he instructed staff to suppress an internal VA investigation into the number of veterans attempting suicide. Based on their surveys and tabulations, Katz estimated that between 550 and 650 veterans are committing suicide each month. It is possible that the number of suicide deaths among veterans in 2008 alone will double the combined combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. It pains Noah’s family and friends that the Pentagon will never add him to the official tally of 4,000-plus war dead.
Likewise, PTSD and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are excluded from the count of 50,000 severe combat wounds. A recent study by the RAND Corporation found that one in five (approximately 300,000) Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from depression and/or post traumatic stress disorders and another 320,000 suffer from TBIs.
Those needing help are urged to contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800- 273-8255 is open 24-7, 365 days a year for military personnel and their families.