There's a serious crisis in America when it comes to opioids. Millions of Americans are addicted to prescription pain relievers, and tens of thousands die from overdoses each year.
But the veteran community leads the way with a sobering statistic: They are two times more likely to overdose than non-veterans.
And beyond the overdose risk, opioids also offer challenges for mental health treatment since, according to VA data, more than 63 percent of veterans receiving prescription medication for chronic pain also have a mental health diagnosis.
That's why Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha is lobbying Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to look at other options besides the "quick fix" of giving prescriptions to veterans in pain.
"There are so many different options other than just 'fill that prescription,'" Romesha said Thursday in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.
Many injuries affect the muscles, according to Romesha, which may be better suited to chiropractic care instead of a magic pill. He specifically mentioned the Patriot Project in Canton, Ohio, which has a goal of offering free chiropractic care to wounded veterans, military members and their families, and Gold Star dependents.
The organization boasts eight Medal of Honor recipients as board members or spokesmen, along with other prominent retired military leaders.
"The culture we had when I was in was, 'Here's pills, get back to work,'" Romesha said, noting that there are other options that should be explored such as chiropractic care or acupuncture. "It's been world changing."
There is one option Romesha didn't mention that's been embraced by some veterans: medical marijuana. The VA issued guidance late last year on its medical marijuana policy, which allowed doctors to discuss (but not prescribe) marijuana with veterans, although the agency still refuses to study its efficacy.
NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.
The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.
Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.
Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018
How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."