The final episode of this season's Frontline looks at PTSD and the Army's policies on mental health care through the experience of the third platoon, Charlie Company of the First Battalion,
506th Infantry, based at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs. Members of the third platoon suffered unusually high rates of suicide and violent crime upon their return from Iraq.
This unit had been assigned to find and detonate roadside bombs. They were recognized in Iraq as a very effective team. But with shortages of troops, questionable decisions were made about sending traumatized soldiers back into combat. Problems were compounded when waivers were provided to individuals who would ordinarily be rejected for military service.
And, for the first time ever, solders were permitted to take prescription psychotropics while serving in combat roles. Over 20,000 troops were on antidepressants. Ambien was being popped like candy by soldiers with sleeping difficulties.
The video is available online and well worth watching.