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"There is a lot of angst. There's a lot of pressure out there. My soldiers have been fighting now for 12, 13 years in hard combat. Hard combat, anybody that has spent any time in this war has been changed by it. It's that simple."Adm. William McRaven, the head of SOCom, said at a conference in Florida
Since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, military troops – including special forces units like Navy SEALs and Army Rangers – have endured multiple deployments. Military suicides increased across the board during that time, to the point that suicides (349) outpaced combat deaths (311) in 2012, according to a Guardian analysis in 2013.
McRaven reflected on the difficulties that Vietnam veterans faced when they returned home in the 1970s during his Thursday remarks. "We're not going to make that mistake this time around," he said. "We're going to put everything we can into making sure we're taking care of these kids and their families."
"It is about the readiness of my force," he said. "At the end of the day, we'll find the right weapon...But I'll tell you, if we don't have a force that's resilient, that is healthy, that can do the job, none of that equipment is going to matter."