Due to the reduced number of military personnel serving across the armed forces, the Defense Department has started to rely on civilian contractors to fill its needs in warzones throughout the world. With more contractors working in combat situations, many are now starting to experience the effects of post-traumatic stress.
According to a study published by the RAND Corporation, the number of private military and security contractors employed by the U.S. Department of Defense is greater than the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The study states that 155,826 contractors worked alongside 152,275 U.S. troops in Iraq in 2008, and 94,413 contractors worked with 91,600 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2010.
The study found that contractors suffered from post-traumatic stress at higher rates than the troops they served with. 25% of contractors polled for the study said they suffered from symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Only 11 to 20% of troops polled said they suffered from PTSD or its symptoms.
Molly Dunigan, a political scientist and one of the authors of the study, said “The critical thing to take away from this study is that a significant number of people working on the ground in conflict environments are suffering from these problems, and many of their deployment-related health needs are not being addressed.”
Dunigan said the call for the study came after “State Department personnel were complaining about deployment related stress issues and how that was becoming a bigger problem because there was not as much attention paid to civilians who had been deployed.”
“Given the extensive use of contractors in conflict areas in recent years, these findings highlight a significant but often overlooked group of people struggling with the after-effects of working in a war zone,” said Dungan.
While contractors are supposed to be protected from combat-offensive environments, the RAND report revealed that many are exposed to PTSD stressors, like:
- Improvised explosive devices
- Serious injury
- Death of fellow personnel
- The psychological effects of killing
File Your Defense Base Act Claim Today
Have you worked as a private contractor in Iraq or Afghanistan? Are you suffering from symptoms of PTSD? If so, you should get in touch with our lawyers to find out how to recover the compensation you deserve. We can help you file a claim under the Defense Base Act and walk you through the entire legal process.
Call (770) 661-0091 today to request your free consultation with one of our lawyers at Herbert Chestnut & Associates.