Many Iraq, Afghanistan War Vets Say Health Worse than Before Deployment

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_f1bb98ffa0.jpgStocktrek Images/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- Many veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan say they are worse off for doing so, according to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 819 veterans conducted in late 2013. In all, 2.6 million service members were deployed in the two wars going back to October 2001.Forty-three percent say their physical health is now worse than before they went overseas to fight, with 45 percent saying it's about the same.

Only 12 percent claim it's better. As for their mental or emotional health, 31 percent say it's worse than before deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan while 56 percent claim it's the same and 12 percent believe it's better.

The Post-Kaiser Family survey also finds that 18 percent were seriously injured while performing their duties and 34 percent have a service-connected disability.

Just over four in ten Iraq and Afghanistan vets admit experiencing outbursts of anger while 51 percent know a service member who has considered suicide.

About half say they've had problems transitioning into civilian life while the other half claim it's actually been easier than expected.

Given the cost of wars, nearly all vets in the survey would do it all over again, even knowing what they know now.

Regarding their political views, 32 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing while 42 percent feel he is a "good commander in chief of the military." Forty percent believe the president is not a good commander in chief.

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