The number of US troops wounded in Iraq continues to escalate rapidly — and as it does, the cost of the war goes up too.

Here’s an example: on June 8th, a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into a small US patrol base in the northern province of Tamim — killing one soldier, and wounding 18 others soldiers.   This pattern has occurred throughout the war.

The consequences are far-reaching.  Not only are 18 troops wounded,  but dozens of others who witnessed the bloody attack and narrowly escaped injury will suffer from shock, trauma, guilt, stress, anxiety , insomnia, and other problems.  Remember — these troops were not even out on patrol, they were inside their own supposedly safe barracks in a residential neighborhood.   According to recent studies, about one-third of these soldiers will end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.  Some will also  be diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury from the force of the blast.

So a suicide bombing that killed one soldier will cause dozens if not hundreds of veterans to seek costly medical treatment and to claim disability compensation.  This helps explain the numbers to date:  4094 deaths, 60,000 wounded or injured; 330,000 seeking medical treatment from the Veterans Department.

The cost of providing this medical care (at military hospitals, veterans hospitals, clinics, and outpatient facilities) and the cost of paying disability stipends to these veterans and their dependents will be a strain on the US budget for decades to come.

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