(WASHINGTON) — Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Martha Raddatz discussed Wednesday’s shooting in Fort Hood and the lasting effects of post traumatic stress disorder with experts Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, former Army Vice Chief of Staff and ABC News Consultant Retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli, and The New Yorker staff writer Nicholas Schmidle.
FBI and U.S. Military officials are continuing to investigate suspect Ivan Lopez’s state of mind prior to this week’s rampage. Lopez was reportedly in the process of being evaluated for PTSD at the time of the shooting.
When asked if Lopez, who killed three fellow soldiers and injured 16, should be considered a wounded warrior himself, Gen. Chiarelli said, “I think you have to. If you really want to get the stigma associated with these problems, we have got to consider these wounds of war.”
There were 130,000 reported cases of PTSD among veterans last year. Schmidle argued Americans are not paying enough attention to the lasting effects of war on veterans.
“I think that that’s something that the American public thinks that, OK, there were no casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan during the month of March, the American commitment is over, and it’s far from over.”
Schmidle continued, “It would be horrific to imagine that you would send a young man or woman into Iraq or Afghanistan at the worst time of combat, ill equipped for war. We should be equally as horrified that they are ill equipped to come home and transition home as we were that they were ill equipped to fight.”
According to Rep. Carter, the army has made progress increasing PTSD awareness. Still, 1 in 5 veterans currently suffer from the disorder. Carter said the issue is “critical,” and we must “provide more resources both at the DOD level and at the VA level.”
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