Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.

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On a Friday night in October, Patrick Zeigler lay in a tattoo shop in Daytona Beach. His shirt off and chest bare, he braced as the tattoo gun pierced his skin. He had mulled the design for several months — the date "5NOV09," surrounded by a circle of thirteen stars, one for every person killed in the massacre 10 years ago at Fort Hood.

Zeigler timed the appointment just so, to give the tattoo enough time to heal before the 10th anniversary of the shooting Tuesday, Nov. 5. He asked that one of the stars be made gold, in honor of all the other lives that were torn apart that day, among them, his own.

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While the news may be abuzz with stories about Conan, the hero dog on the Delta Force raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, there's another canine who's been quietly serving behind the scenes: Ricochet.

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(Reuters Health) - Young adults who develop PTSD may be more likely to have a stroke by the time they are middle aged, a study of U.S. veterans suggests.

Researchers followed almost one million young and middle-aged veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade, starting when they were 30 years old, on average, and had no history of stroke. Overall, 29% had been diagnosed with PTSD.

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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.

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An Army veteran who was deported last year is back in Chicago this week to fight for citizenship, hoping to stay in the country he's called home since he was a child.

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