Joint Chiefs Chairman Urges Community Vet Support

By Bob Christie | October 1, 2010 | 5:35 PM EDT

(AP) - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the military continues to struggle with high suicide rates and returning veterans need more help getting over the stress of deployments from local communities.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen says hundreds of thousands of vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have at least some level of post-traumatic stress.

Mullen, the president's top military adviser, said in a speech here Friday that the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are working to help affected veterans but that local communities are even more important to their recovery.

Mullen says communities need to reach out to service members as they return to civilian life after years of deployments overseas. He spoke at a luncheon sponsored by Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc.