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Tough Facts about Combat

10 Tough Facts about Combat

Fact 1:                       Fear in Combat is Common.

–          Over 2/3 of Silver Star recipients reported increased fear as battle progressed.

–          Common symptoms include fear, violent shaking/trembling, and losing control of bladder, feeling weak, cold sweats and vomiting.

–          Fear and anxiety are reduced in combat when Soldiers engage in actions derived from training experiences.

Fact 2:                       Unit members WILL be injured and killed.                                                                          

–          Over 2,600 service members killed and over 17,900 wounded since OIF/OEF campaigns began.

–          Soldiers were angry when Leaders failed to show they cared about combat experiences, especially those involving injuries or death.

Fact 3:                       There WILL be communication breakdown.

–          Soldiers report deployment policies are often inconsistently applied and they don’t know the status of wounded soldiers.

–          Soldiers will result to believing rumors if they don’t get the facts.

Fact 4:                       Soldiers frequently perceive failures in leadership.

–          Good leadership is linked to higher Morale and Cohesion and to fewer mental health problems.

–          Soldiers report that leaders frequently engage in actions to enhance their own careers.

–          Soldiers also report that leaders often fail to exhibit clear thinking and reasonable actions when under stress.

Fact 5:                       Combat impacts EVERY soldier both mentally and emotionally.

–          Combat Stress reactions involve any symptom (physical, mental, behavioral) and occur when a soldier becomes overwhelmed with the stressors of combat.

–          Over 95% of soldiers who receive forward mental health support are returned to duty.

–          Treatment in rear areas often lead to Evacuation Syndrome.

Fact 6:                       Combat OFTEN leads to lasting mental health effects.                                                       

–          PTSD symptoms are common after combat (10-20% of soldiers) and often lead to excessive alcohol use and aggression.

–          Symptoms of PTSD include: feeling tense and angry, nightmares, flashbacks, and the inability to express feelings about traumatic events.

Fact 7:                       It takes courage to ask for Mental Health Support.

–          Only 25-40% of soldiers with mental health issues get real help because they report numerous stigmatizing beliefs regarding their unit members and leadership.

Fact 8:                       Deployment places a tremendous strain on families.

–          Nearly 1/5 of soldiers deployed to OIF reported marital problems.

–          Marital satisfaction declined after deployment.

Fact 9:                       The Combat environment is Harsh and Demanding.                                                               

–          Soldiers’ performance progressively deteriorates with less than 8-hours sleep each day.

–          The combat environment (physical strain, heat, noise and lack of privacy) takes a toll on soldiers.

Fact 10:                     Combat poses moral and ethical challenges.

–          Combat exposes the reality of death.

–          Combat tests the character of each Leader and Soldier.

Many Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines never get the help they need.  It’s often misunderstood that PTSD only happens during a combat experience.   That just isn’t true!  Because of this belief, many Veterans (Young and Old) never seek VA compensation for their stressors that they are actually entitled.

It’s important to get involved with the right people and right organizations that understand these issues that many veterans face and that go through great strides in helping ALL Veterans in their Rehabilitation and Compensation issues no matter where they reside in the world….

That’s where Vets-to-Vets comes in.  This veteran helps connect other veterans to the help they need.

Although I have not served during the Vietnam Era, I still belong to the Vietnam Veterans of America.

The President in Guadalupe, CA had literally helped hundreds of veterans get the benefits that they deserve.

Chapter 982 helps veterans all over and can be best reached here:

Chapter President Hank Alfaro

 ( 805) 529-1313




 Our Dedicated Chapter Psychologist:

Dr. Robert Hayes   


(805) 481-8766



Both are able to assist you with your disability claims as well as general treatment for any conditions.



  • Thanks for the insight.

  • Great article!

  • Kvaughan42

    Joe we definately dont take care of these patriots well enough, when they come home. Nice web site and thanks for helping some of these heros find what little benefits that are avaiable to them. If it werent for the American Soldier, the world would be a much different, less pleasant place to live!

    • Thanks Kvaughan. It’s our responsibility to take care of our own. We need to bring Pride back to our Country….