Study: Global War on Terror vets' experiences differ from previo

Study: Global War on Terror vets' experiences differ from previous wars

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

 For many who served in combat, their experiences strengthened them personally. But it made the transition back to civilian life more difficult.

This is the key finding in a new survey from pew research. The survey shows veterans who served in the global war on terror are more likely to be deployed over-seas than veterans from previous eras. Service members after 9-11 are more likely to have seen combat, and experienced emotional trauma.

They're also more likely than their predecessors to suffer physical or psychological combat scars. Nearly 50 percent of veterans from the war on terror report some emotionally traumatic or distressing experiences. That's compared to only one in four service members from before 9-11.

"The 'trust factor' in a warrior when he's out there," Benny Guerrero, Commander with Veterans of Foreign Wars explained. "Who do you trust? You have to adopt a certain philosophy that... be cordial and nice to everyone you meet, but be ready to kill everyone you meet. That mindset really plays with people's heads."


A service member is only given five days of civilian behavior before they're discharged. Guerrero says that's not nearly enough, and it's up to other veterans to support each other during that difficult time.

"We are those people that are gonna carry your pack for ya, until you get ready to carry your own pack, let us carry your load," Guerrero said. "I think those organizations, those veteran service organizations, are vital to a successful transition."

If you've served, Guerrero urges you to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, The Order of the Purple Heart or the Disabled American Veterans Organization. He says you're doing yourself a disservice if you haven't.

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