Over the past five years, the Department of Veterans Affairs says, the number of former service members seeking mental health services has climbed by a third. In response, the agency has boosted funding and tightened standards.
There's some soul-searching going on in the military these days.
The latest scandal to hit U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan surfaced last week when The Los Angeles Times published photographs showing smiling American soldiers holding up body parts of a Taliban suicide bomber.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the latest incident during a trip to Brussels.
"That behavior that was depicted in those photos absolutely violates both our regulations and, more importantly, our core values," he said last week after a NATO meeting.
Across the country, forecasts call for a long and dry fire season. Currently, only 11 civilian firefighting air tankers are in service with the US Forest Sevice, and those are nearing the end of their usable life. However, small groups of specially modified Air Force C-130’s are on standby and ready to deploy as needed across the country.
The forces on the unmanned hypersonic glider tested last summer by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) were so great that large parts of its skin peeled off causing its emergency system to plunge it into the ocean.
As we reported last August, the Falcon HTV-2 "was shot up on a rocket and right at the edge of space, it separated and glided through the atmosphere at 13,000 mph."
While the headlines proclaim that thanks to a new draft agreement the U.S. will continue to defend Afghanistan for a decade after the planned 2014 withdrawal of foreign combat forces from that country, the stories themselves make clear that many of the key details remain to be worked out: