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Caring For America's Veterans


Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

For nearly two decades, the United States has been at war with Afghanistan. As hundreds of thousands of soldiers have been deployed over the years, they find themselves on a different battlefield when they return home.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, between 11-20% of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder. Female veterans are almost 250% more likely to commit suicide than civilian women. The federal government estimates that about 20 veterans a day commit suicide.

As about 200,000 people transition out of the military each year, the way they are cared for physically and mentally will determine their success in civilian life.

On Veteran's Day, we speak with health professionals, scientists, and a decorated veteran who has navigated the transition from soldier to civilian in order to understand the intricacies of mental health in the armed forces, and how America can better care for its veterans.


Tommy Rieman, veteran, Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient and director of philanthropy at Veterans Bridge Home

Dr. Nicole French, clinical director for Veterans Bridge Home

Dr. Justin Johnson, psychiatrist and director of veterans’ services for HopeWay

Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, senior behavioral scientist for RAND Corporation

Jesse Steinmetz is Assistant Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.