The battles after the wars are over can be the toughest; there’s no longer the public interest that accompanies, for good and for ill, the start of combat. Once a conflict has dragged on for a decade, most people are tired of war–and the troubles that flow from it. At TIME, we have made a commitment to covering the challenges facing returning veterans, particularly the mental-health issues that, being often invisible, tend to drift along beneath the radar. We have explored the strain on military mental-health workers, the use of prescription drugs in the ranks and the persistent problem of suicide even among active-duty Army soldiers, including those who have never been deployed overseas.
It was that last story that inspired former Marine sergeant David Linley to reach out to correspondent Mark Thompson in our Washington bureau. Linley went off to war four times–from Grenada in 1983 to Iraq in 2004. He’s now serving a 16-year sentence at the Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro, Ill., for shooting up his neighborhood in a PTSD rage fueled by alcohol, in which he was the only person hurt. While most of the 2.5 million men and women who served in uniform in Afghanistan and Iraq have returned successfully to civilian life, some 500,000 suffer from PTSD and other mental ills. “Treating PTSD and traumatic brain injuries remains a challenge, as much art as science,” Thompson says. “There are thousands of good people, inside and out of government, doing great work every day to help vets. But when you follow a case like Linley’s, you know that it isn’t enough.” And this is despite a tripling of the Department of Veterans Affairs budget–from about $50 billion to $150 billion–since 2001, which suggests we’re a long way from victory.
Nancy Gibbs, MANAGING EDITOR
BEHIND THE SCENES
Photographer Ross McDonnell (in helmet), whose striking images of Kiev illustrate our story on page 26, spent two days with antigovernment protesters in their makeshift fort, a burned-out clothing store on Hrushevskoho Street. It was so cold, says McDonnell, that water from the hoses used by police on rioters turned to ice instantly: “It was … a perfect visual storm.” To hear more from McDonnell, visit lightbox.time.com.
NOW ON TIME.COM
Ever wonder exactly how much time you’ve wasted posting–and poring over–photos and status updates on Facebook? So did we. In advance of the social network’s 10th birthday on Feb. 4, TIME’s Chris Wilson created an interactive calculator that lets you find the precise number of days, hours and minutes you’ve logged since joining. Check it out at time.com/wastebook
NOW ON LIGHTBOX
Silent-film icon Charlie Chaplin, who made his screen debut 100 years ago in the 13-minute Making a Living, is usually seen in black-and-white. By using an early photo-editing process, however, Charles Zoller, an American photographer of Chaplin’s era, reintroduced the film star in vibrant color–as seen here in this 1918 autochrome featuring Chaplin dressed as his signature character, the Little Tramp. For more, visit lightbox.time.com.
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This appears in the February 10, 2014 issue of TIME.
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