the searches. Many of the articles, however, focused on outcomes primarily of service in the Vietnam War rather than OEF and OIF. There was a paucity of published information about the current wars, so the articles reviewed, although instructive about the numerous outcomes and long-term effects of deployment and redeployment, were a substitute for the information that the committee would like to have had.
The committee also requested data from DOD and VA. Once the appropriate people in DOD were identified, the data requests were processed quickly. However, the data provided by VA have been incomplete; the committee’s deliberations in phase 2 will be facilitated by access to more complete information from the VA.
The committee examined the basic demographic data that DOD and VA provided on the active-duty forces, the reserve components of the military, and the National Guard, such as the number of troops deployed and redeployed, the length of dwell time, marital status, the numbers of women deployed, the types of injuries reported, and health-care use by OEF and OIF veterans. DOD data were provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center and the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. Committee members also reviewed numerous reports that contained information on DOD and VA programs developed for those who have served in OEF and OIF and the costs of such programs; reports from the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, the inspectors general of VA and DOD, and the Congressional Research Service and congressional testimony relevant to its task; and several IOM reports on PTSD diagnosis (IOM, 2006), PTSD treatment (IOM, 2008b), the effects of deployment-related stress (IOM, 2008a), and the long-term outcomes related to TBI (IOM, 2009).
Members of the committee understood that to carry out its task it would be important to talk to people who had firsthand knowledge of readjustment needs—active-duty personnel, veterans, family members, health-care providers, and community leaders. Thus, in addition to its literature reviews and six committee meetings, the committee held five town hall meetings. The committee used several venues and approaches for meeting with active-duty military personnel, veterans, and family members; some of the approaches were more successful than others.
Ultimately, the committee met with active-duty personnel, National Guard members, family members, veterans, and community leaders in cities, towns, and rural areas that have large military bases and troops who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. In this first phase, the committee conducted the meetings in an effort to gain qualitative data; in phase 2, it expects to collect quantitative data from such meetings. The committee held meetings in Killeen, Texas (near Fort Hood); in Austin, Texas (at Camp Mabry); in Jacksonville and Fayetteville, North Carolina (near Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg, respectively); and in Oceanside, California (near Camp Pendleton). Several committee members met with the Marine and Family Services Division at Camp Pendleton to gain a better understanding of the needs of marines and their family members and to become aware of the services offered. Those meetings were invaluable in providing the committee with an understanding of the challenges faced not only by active-duty military with regard to accessing services but by providers in trying to meet all the needs of service members and their families. Groups of committee members and staff went to Toledo, Ohio, to meet with National Guard members and representatives from the Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana Guard and to Watertown, New York, to meet with community leaders who serve those stationed at Fort Drum. The information-gathering sessions were open to the public. The committee also solicited comments from military and veteran service organizations. The main issues discussed at those meetings are highlighted in Appendix B.