Collateral damage: Local veterans wrestle with the aftermath of war

Despite having no military base nearby, nearly 20,000 veterans call Buncombe County home — giving it the sixth-largest veteran population in the state. As local visits for PTSD, depression, substance abuse, homelessness and unemployment continues to climb at Charles George VA, three local veterans share their struggles and stories about mental health. (Cover design by Sarah Riddle)

Care behind the battlefiel­d

Each night before he went to sleep in his cot in Afghanistan, Asheville resident Dustin Degman set out three sets of clothing: one for surgery, another for a normal day on the base and a third for incoming mortar fire.
Degman, who works as a certified nurse anesthetist at Asheville Anesthesia Associates, returned from his tour of duty on Feb. 14. He sat down with Xpress to talk about those differences and share his experiences about what it was like providing care abroad during a time of war.

Truth to Power: April 9 panel discussion targets America’s “perpetual state of war”

While patrolling in Iraq in 2007, former active-duty Marine Conor Curran came to question what he was doing and why he was there, when an Iraqi civilian served him tea. Curran will be one of several participants in an April 9 open discussion at the Diana Wortham Theatre — Truth to Power: A Permanent State of War (the program starts at 8 p.m.). Xpress editorial intern Forrest McDonald spoke to Curran and one of the keynote speakers, investigative journalist Gareth Porter, earlier this week. Here are a few of their remarks.