Mental 'health' in midst of war impossible

Military doctors said the findings from a new battlefield survey taken last summer were no surprise given the dramatic increase in combat, which troops reported was at its most intense level since officials began doing mental health analyses in 2003.

"There are few stresses on the human psyche as extreme as the exposure to combat and seeing what war can do," Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, the Army surgeon general, said at a Pentagon news conference.

Some 70 percent to 80 percent of troops surveyed for the report said they had seen a buddy killed, roughly half of soldiers and 56 percent of Marines said they'd killed an enemy fighter, and about two-thirds of troops said that a roadside bomb – the No. 1 weapon of insurgents – had gone off within 55 yards of them.

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