The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have long documented the difficulties veterans face returning to the United States post deployment. The CDC has 18-studies of note varying from post service mortality to health communication and health risk (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). The CDC along with the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration have joined together to further conduct research and implement services to assist with the acclimation of military personnel back to U.S. soil. Of these services, medical and psychological treatment is tantamount to stabilization. Many soldiers deployed close to areas of combat, or directly in the line of fire, return with symptoms of psychological distress and unexplained medical conditions requiring substantial services for stabilization.
Steele, Sastre, Gerkovich, & Cook (2011) indicated in their study of Gulf War Illness that much of the information on medical and psychological distress is via self-report from returning military personnel. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has established a policy where the use of self-report is a necessity to document post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and medical afflictions-regardless of verifiable documentation. In relation to the Gulf War for example, the VA engages in the presumption that unexplainable medical symptoms that exist for 6 months or longer are the result of Gulf War deployment and Gulf War Illness without regard to cause (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2014). .
Additionally, further documentation by benefit of research has indicated the proclivity for some returning military personnel to exaggerate the severity of their medical and psychological symptoms. Whether this be for reasons of potential somatic or conversion disorder, there is the hypothesis indicating the exaggeration is the result of deliberate deception for secondary gains.