Tuesday, May 7, 2019
When you are in the service you are more than likely at your healthiest, between physical fitness training and maintaining standards within body composition regulations, the probability of becoming overweight or obese is not great. However, when service members get out the odds are not in their favor. According to Veterans Affairs, 78 percent of veterans are considered to be overweight or obese.
WASHINGTON – Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan called for sweeping changes in the way the military handles sexual assaults and harassment following a reported 38% increase in assaults from 2016 to 2018. That spike in crime within the ranks comes after years of focused effort and resources to eradicate it.
Sexual assault in the military has become increasingly more common and accepted, creating a problem in providing accountability and justice for survivors. This problem stems largely from the Feres Doctrine, a policy that blocks survivors from suing their perpetrators or the government in civil court for their injuries.
After the revelation of how prominent sexual assault has beenin the military, the Department of Defense started to focus on the importance of the prevention of the assaults described by Section 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  However, the level of military-on-military sexual assaults has continued to grow, while the number of prosecutions has declined.  The Feres Doctrine, by insulating perpetrators from the consequences of their actions, is adding to a culture that is normalizing sexual assault in the U.S. military.
During Andrea Goldstein's time as a Naval officer, she was frequently the only woman in the room "where life and death decisions were made."
Gulf War exposures may have added health risks to active duty military during Operations Desert Shield,
Depleted Uranium (DU)
The military has all manner of metrics on the rash of suicides among active duty troops, but the statistics on suicides and suicide attempts by military family members mostly show up on the police blotter.
Last January, Julia Powers Schenecker, the wife of an Army colonel at the Tampa, Fla., headquarters of the Central Command, left a note saying that she was going to kill her children and herself. She shot to death her 13-year-old son and 16-year-daughter. Police arrived at the upscale family home and found Schenecker sitting in a chair, covered in blood, before she could kill herself. Police said Schenecker told them that the children had been “mouthy.”
“I’ve lost three of my friends to suicide,” said Kristina Kaufmann, the wife of an Army colonel. One of them at Fort Bragg, N.C., went to the garage and got in the car with her two toddler children and turned on the engine. All three were found dead.
More than a dozen pieces of legislation are being considered by Congress this session that aim to improve veteran mental health care, expand services to more veterans or provide access to new treatments, including medical marijuana.
After four veteran suicides at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in April alone, and an unchanging rate of 20 veteran suicides per day, Congress and the VA have been under increasing pressure to address veteran mental health and suicide. Lawmakers from both chambers and sides of the aisle have bills piled up for consideration.
The number of disabled veterans is rising. And so, too, is their weight.
A new study, based on a survey of more than 33,000 post-9/11 service members and veterans, found that 51.7 percent of wounded warriors have a body mass index that qualifies them as obese — up from 48.6 percent two years ago. Of those, 6.2 percent are morbidly obese.
Even more grim? The percentage of vets who are overweight in 2018 is nearly seven times greater than the percentage of those who are not, according to the study released today by Wounded Warrior Project and the nonprofit’s research partner, Westat.