Posted on December 12, 2013.
Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor (via SSRN)
During the period 2001-2009, four combat brigades and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were based at Fort Carson, Colorado. These units were repeatedly deployed during the Iraq War, allowing us to measure the effect of arguably exogenous changes in troop levels on violent crime in El Paso County, where Fort Carson is located. Our results suggest that never-deployed units contributed to community violence in the form of assaults, murders, and robberies. In contrast, estimates of the relationship between the number of previously deployed units and violent crime are generally small and statistically insignificant. We conclude that soldiers returning from combat do not represent a special threat to public safety.
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Posted on September 18, 2013.
Legion releases report on TBI and PTSD
Source: American Legion
The American Legion released a report on Sept. 11 that is the culmination of a study the wartime veterans organization did on current treatments and best practices for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The report, entitled “The War Within,” includes findings and recommendations based on comprehensive research, conducted from January 2011 to February 2013, by an American Legion ad hoc committee chaired by William Detweiler, past national commander of the Legion.
Detweiler said the report shows that while the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) use a number of traditional medical treatments for TBI and PTSD cases, “they have not done a lot of research on alternative methods. There’s no simple answer to what works as far as PTSD or TBI is concerned, but we found that the (DoD and VA) medical profession shied away from certain things which they considered to be alternative medicine.”
For example, Detweiler said that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is one alternative treatment that “works for some people. It’s not the answer for everybody, but (DoD and VA) have shied away from putting any serious money into doing studies.”
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Posted on August 27, 2013.
Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy
Source: RAND Corporation
Awareness of military sexual assault — sexual assault of a servicemember — has been increasing within the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD is striving to improve this situation, but unique conditions of life in the military may make response to these events more difficult than within the civilian sector. This paper reviews the prevalence of sexual assault among servicemembers, victim responses in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, barriers to disclosure, victim needs, and DoD efforts to provide necessary resources to victims. The authors review civilian guidelines for the care of physical injuries, response to STI/HIV and pregnancy risk, forensic services, advocacy and support services, and formal mental health care. They then review DoD directives, forms, and guidelines for sexual assault victim care, revealing that these generally are consistent with civilian guidelines. However, little is known about the fidelity with which these DoD recommendations are implemented. The authors close with recommendations for future research to support the DoD’s commitment to a culture free of sexual assault, including a comprehensive, longitudinal epidemiological study of military sexual assault, a needs assessment of disclosed and undisclosed military victims, an evaluation of the training enterprise, and an evaluation to document the extent to which DoD directives requiring immediate, evidence-based care for military victims are being implemented with fidelity.
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