As the president of the United States prepared to announce to the nation an increase in 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, the Iraqi and Afghanistan Veteran's Association warned that there will be increasing demands on the nation to help those who eventually return back into society.
The IAVA says that the true cost of the war in Afghanistan, like all wars, must include a lifetime of support for veterans and their families. As important as the number of planes, trucks and weapons allocated to Afghanistan are the number of surgeons, psychiatrists and case workers resourced at home, the organization says.
Even before the additional troops are deployed, the government is struggling to help those who have already returned. For example, the IAVA notes that the VA health care budget is more than 60 days late. The organization also says that, not only must Congress act quickly on the budget so that essential medical care for veterans continues, but it must also reform the VA's outdated and ineffective disability system.