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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Health Problems Military Members Face

By Emily Walsh

Members of the military sacrifice a lot for their fellow Americans’ freedoms. They give their time, energy and even their lives to defend this great land of ours. One of the sad things that military members often sacrifice on the altar of freedom is their health. The military is home to many health issues that its members must face, especially when the country is at war. Here is a look at some of the most common health risks in the military.

Mental Illness

According to numbers from the Veterans Administration (VA) collected by Dr. Kenneth C. Goldberg, the second-most common reason that returning veterans seek treatment from VA facilities is for mental health issues.

This should come as no surprise. The awful things that many military members have had to witness during their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan have left them with awful memories. Many times they leave veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The military is not really equipped to handle as many mental health problems as they have encountered with the wars in the Middle East. They are struggling to give enough help to returning veterans with mental health problems, and the winding down of the wars will be a welcome respite to the overworked mental health staff at VA facilities.

Back Problems

One of the most common complaints that military members present at VA medical facilities are backache. This is due to the physical nature of many military jobs. Every branch of the service is full of jobs that contain lots of manual labor. The back is a very fragile part of the body, and military members that fail to lift with proper form easily injure it. Most of these injuries are treated with rest and painkillers if needed. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary.

Lost Limbs and Head Injuries

Military medicine has advanced tremendously over the last few decades. More and more wounded soldiers survive their injuries. These include devastating limb and head wounds. Many soldiers are coming home with serious injuries that will leave them disabled for life. Luckily, this rash of amputees has led to the creation of some of the most advanced limb replacement technology in history. The new electronic arms in particular are light years ahead of where they were at the start of the conflicts in the Middle East.

Environmental Risks

As well as facing risks from combat, many soldiers are exposed to harsh chemicals and substances during their time in the military. One of the most devastating of these substances is asbestos. Asbestos was once widely used throughout the military for its fireproofing ability. However, exposure to asbestos can lead to the formation of a deadly form of lung disease called mesothelioma cancer.

Although asbestos is no longer used in the military, new cases of mesothelioma in military members come through VA medical doors every year.  The asbestos exposure often does not lead to the formation of mesothelioma for decades; so older veterans are often the ones to develop it.

Let’s support our troops by being aware of the issues they may experience after being a soldier for our country.  They have sacrificed for us, so now its our turn to help them.

We invite Veterans with asbestos diseases to check out Mesothelioma Lawyer Center for financial compensation options