From KQED News 5:30 p.m. newscast:

An investigation by The Bay Citizen says that from 2005 through 2008, more than 1,000 young military veterans died in California from causes such as drug overdoses, vehicle crashes, and suicide. That total is three times the number of California personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan during the same period. That picture of an extraordinarily high incidence of premature violent deaths is borne out by comparing the mortality of young veterans to their civilian counterparts:

“The data show that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were two and a half times as likely to commit suicide as Californians of the same age with no military service. They were twice as likely to die in a vehicle accident and five and a half times as likely to die in a motorcycle accident.”

The Bay Citizen report also finds that the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is failing former service members who are badly in need of psychiatric care and other treatment. Host Kelly Wilkinson discusses the story with The Bay Citizen’s Aaron Glantz, who reported it.

Author

Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

Twitter: twitter.com/danbrekke
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LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danbrekke

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