Who doesn’t know that post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a growing problem among troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan? I’ve written about the toll combat stress has taken on women warriors back from the post-9/11 wars and how what was once known as “shell shock” still haunts World War II veterans.
But today I went on HuffPost Live with host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to talk about a new kind of combat stress: the toll on U.S.-based crews who remotely control drones thousands of miles away from the physical battlefield. They may get to go home to their families at night but the stress on these airmen is just as serious.
Read about the segment here and see what others are saying here.
And be sure to check out my perspective as a reporter who went to Utah to interview the surviving crew of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima, and more recently to Colorado to talk to the next generation of drone pilots at the Air Force Academy.
The Iraq War was starting to wind down when I traveled to California to meet the first all-Iraq-war-veteran class at the Women’s Trauma Recovery Program at the VA’s residential treatment center in Menlo Park. I found another troubled legacy of war: women warriors not only suffering from battlefield stress but also haunted by another demon: military sexual trauma. It was one of the most memorable, and troubling, cover stories I ever wrote for USA TODAY. You can read it here.
I also went on CNN’s This Week at War to talk to host Tom Foreman about the mental toll on women troops and how the Pentagon was struggling to adapt. You can read what I had to say toward the end of the segment here.