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Tuesday, February 21

Air Base in Despair

You didn't hear about this stuff in WWII.

Strain and battle fatigue of war hit home front

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --This sprawling airbase in the swamps of central Georgia sits 6,500 miles from the nearest battlefield in Iraq. But it hasn't escaped the death and injury brought on by war.

The situation at Robins, where thousands of workers repair military aircraft, is a case study on how the war overseas has affected those serving on the home front. Here, a different kind of strain and battle fatigue has surfaced, often in startling ways.

The wounded came not from engaging the enemy, but from scores of workplace injuries that increased as the war intensified. The low morale was measured in rises in drunken driving and domestic abuse, discrimination complaints and lost productivity. Most dramatic were the suicides -double the national rate in 2004 -and murders on the base, the first in Robins' 65-year history.

This is a startling story.

War is not good
for children
and other living things

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