Vote Vets Poll Reveals Combat Troop Hardships
Vote Vets has been raising hell these past few weeks. George Allen, Rick Santorum and Conrad Burns have all been targeted for voting against supplying the troops with the equipment they need. Others pushed back at Vote Vets, but you cannot deny the truth.
Now the group has released the first poll ever taken from returning soldiers coming home
from Iraq and Afghanistan. It reveals alarming realities that should shame the Republican controlled Congress, that is if they had any conscience, which they don't. It should also inspire Americans to throw the
bums out. I cannot say it any plainer than that.
A new poll released today of American service men and women who served in
Iraq and Afghanistan shows that at the start of heavy combat (2003 and 2004),
nearly half of our troops reported they did not have “up-armored”
vehicles that would be considered mission capable. According to the poll,
conducted by VoteVets.org Action Fund, the clear majority of veterans – both
active duty personnel as well as National Guard and Reservists – believe the
Army and Marines are over-extended in Iraq and Afghanistan, having endured
extensions of duty and stop-loss orders as the U.S. military increased operations
abroad. When the veterans polled returned home, many encountered emotional
and physical health problems as well as economic hardship, indicating that
the impact of their service extends beyond their tour of duty. … …
- Veterans faced real challenges with equipment and supplies while in Iraq
- Nearly half of all veterans (42 percent) reported that their equipment
did not meet the military standard that requires a unit to be at least 90
- Later deployments reported improvements in operational equipment: only
52 and 49 percent of veterans serving in 2003 and 2004 respectively reported
their equipment was operational compared to 61 percent of those who served
in 2005 and later.
- Thirty-five percent of veterans said their trucks were not up-armored at
all and 10 percent said the trucks were up-armored with scrap metal
- One-fifth of veterans have been impacted by stop-loss regulations or extensions
and the majority believes the Army and Marine Corps are overextended.
- Twenty percent of respondents said their unit was extended past its original
- Thirteen percent of all veterans say they were affected by stop-loss regulations,
including 14 percent of National Guard and Reservists.
- Overall, 63 percent of all Iraq or Afghanistan veterans believe the Army
and Marine Corps are overextended at this time, including 67 percent of Army
and Marine veterans and 66 percent of veterans who experienced ground combat.
- When these soldiers returned home, many encountered emotional and physical
health problems as well as economic hardship resulting from their service.
- One in four veterans has experienced nightmares since returning, including
33 percent of Army and Marines veterans and 36 percent of combat veterans.
- A fifth of all veterans (21 percent) and a quarter of Army and Marines
(26 percent) and ground combat veterans (27 percent) say they have felt more
stress now then before they left for war.
- Among National Guard or Reserve veterans, 32 percent said their families
experienced economic hardship; 25 percent feel more stress now than before
the war; 32 percent experienced more extreme highs and lows; and 30 percent
- Twenty six percent of all veterans have sought some service from the VA
or a VA Hospital, including 33 percent of Reservists and National Guard respondents.