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.