Troops' advocate: War-spawned medical issues a growing problem

MOAA believes a “sustained national commitment at all levels of government to help veterans cope with the psychological and traumatic conditions that threaten their well-being and that of their families.”

The organization offered several recommendations to remedy current problems, including setting up a single suicide-prevention office that would report directly to the Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense Department secretaries.

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MOAA also called for the VA to expand its mental health capacity to “improve access and delivery of quality and timely care and information.” The group also called to expand VA health care to include “all eligible veterans ... especially those in the Guard and Reserve, rural areas and high-risk populations by communicating better to reach them and help them understand how to use available services.”

The organization feels “the VA and DOD must improve how they work together to achieve recommended actions and reduce the shocking suicide statistics of those who have served our nation,” Campos said.

Pentagon leaders have increasingly talked about the need to get a better handle on the medical issues — especially mental-health problems — that are popping up among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Medical professionals expect those issues to get more widespread.