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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:50 AM

Stress on special ops troops 'worse than we thought'


Stress on special ops troops 'worse than we thought'
Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY 12:59a.m. EST December 20, 2012

TAMPA - The nation's most elite fighting forces -celebrated this year in film and best-selling books - are under more emotional strain after a decade of war than commanders realized, according to the senior non-commissioned officer for special operations.

A tragic part of that is record suicides this year, says Command Sgt. Maj. Chris Faris.


A report last month by U.S. Special Operations Command - which oversees 66,000 troops including the Army's secretive Delta Force, Navy SEALs with SEAL Team 6, Army Green Berets and Rangers - cites "an increase in domestic and family relational and behavioral problems, substance abuse and self-medication problems, risk-taking behavior, post-traumatic stress and suicide."

Faris says, "It's worse than we thought." But he added that despite signs of strain, this select category of troops remains capable of meeting any missions they are given.

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