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Transcendental Meditation May Help Stressed Vets

The military is studying meditation as a means of combating America's PTSD epidemic
First-year cadets at Norwich University train in
Transcendental Meditation as part of research sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation's Operation Warrior Wellness program


First-year cadets at Norwich University train in Transcendental Meditation as part of research sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation's Operation Warrior Wellness program Photograph by Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

Every 65 minutes, a U.S. military veteran committed suicide in 2010. That’s according to a comprehensive study released last Friday by the Department of Veteran Affairs, which tracked veteran suicides from 1999 to 2010 (PDF). Then there are the suicides of active-duty service members: Last year they outpaced combat deaths, hitting a record high of 349.

These alarming statistics—as well as such tragedies as last week’s murder of Chris Kyle, a highly decorated Navy SEAL sniper, by an ex-Marine—may be one reason why the U.S. military is exploring alternative means of preventing and treating post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD. Among the alternatives is meditation.