Naval War College Review


The numbers are staggering. In 2012 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimated that eight thousand veterans take their own lives every year. Think about that—twenty-two people die every day of whom many, in pain and having lost hope, have carried their war with them for far too long. For some it may have been recent fight- ing in Afghanistan or Iraq; for others it may have been decades ago in the jungles of Southeast Asia. Regardless, the trauma these people experienced knows no boundaries between deserts and mountains, between marshes and oceans. Or as the great First World War poet Wilfred Owen said: “These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.”