Winner 2006

Mental Anguish and the Military

National Public Radio

Mental Anguish and the Military, presented on NPR’s All Things Considered, is a reality check on how well the U.S. Army is living up to its obligations to help treat Iraq War veterans—20 to 25 percent by its own assessment—exhibiting symptoms of serious mental health problems. Succinct and stunning, the 22-minute investigative report found that at Ft. Carson, Colo., soldiers who seek therapy for post-Iraq nightmares, depression and suicidal urges are in fact harassed, ostracized, even forced out of the service. Top officers declined to be interviewed, but non-commissioned officers closer to the troops at Ft. Carson expressed blunt disdain for veterans who claim to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “I’ll be blatantly honest,” one sergeant said. “I think some people are just weak.” For exposing a startling disconnect between official policy and everyday practice that led to an investigation by the Army’s Surgeon General, Mental Anguish and the Military receives a Peabody Award.


Senior correspondent: Daniel Zwerdling. Producer: Anne Hawke. Editor: Ellen Weiss.