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"The prescription drug overdose problem really bothers me a lot," Flores said. "I would like to get a handle on that."

Despite the attention the VA now gives to suicides, it has yet to Omega Seamaster Blue And Orange

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"We will be pushing them for a comprehensive study, absolutely," Flores said. "We'll get the ball rolling."

D Austin, said through a spokeswoman that he would support an effort to give the CDC the necessary money.

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Omega Speedmaster 38 Cappuccino

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a complete investigation into all causes of death, the VA does not have a full picture of the problems facing recent veterans.

publicly release a comprehensive study of how Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are dying. Critics say that without such Omega Speedmaster On Hand

The VA faces several data limitations that make compiling such information difficult: it relies on the National Death Index for causes of death, but the file is hampered by a two year time lag. And death certificates, including those in Texas, only reveal whether the deceased has ever served in the armed forces which means active duty service members are mixed in with veterans. Death certificates also can underreport suicides and drug overdoses, experts say.

While the issue of veteran suicide has received considerable national attention, the Statesman investigation showed that nearly as many Texas veterans are dying of prescription drug overdoses and in many cases received powerful narcotic painkillers from VA doctors. According to toxicology reports obtained by the Statesman, most veterans who died of overdoses had multiple prescription drugs in their systems when they died.

"The Statesman's insightful articles raise many troubling issues. My office is continuously working with veterans on a wide range of needs. The VA was too slow in recognizing this serious problem and then too slow in responding to it," Doggett said in a statement.

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Because it doesn't track individual causes of death, the VA was unable to confirm the Statesman's specific findings or determine whether they represent national trends. The VA is planning to conduct more mortality studies at the end of the year, but it's unclear whether the agency will provide a full breakdown of how veterans are dying.

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´╗┐Congressman calls for hearings on veteran deaths in response

"Sen. Cornyn believes we have an obligation to all veterans to do everything in our power to honor their service, take care of their families and prevent fellow veterans from facing similar tragedy," a spokeswoman for his office said.

House Committee on Veteran Affairs is calling for congressional hearings in response to a series of American Statesman articles that revealed an alarming number of Texas veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are dying of prescription drug overdoses and that the Department of Veterans Affairs is failing to adequately track the deaths of recently returned troops. Rep. Bill Flores, R Waco, said he would ask committee chair Jeff Miller, R Florida, for hearings on the VA's response to the prescription drug overdoses and on the latest research into post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

And while the CDC's National Violent Death Reporting System can identify veterans who die from suicide or other violent causes, only 18 states make reports to the system. The CDC estimates that expanding to all 50 states would cost $25 million, which Congress has not appropriated. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Omega Constellation Pink Face

The Statesman obtained autopsy results, toxicology reports, inquests and accident reports from more than 50 agencies throughout the state to analyze the causes of death for 266 Texas veterans who served in operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and were receiving Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits when they died. More than one in three died from a drug overdose, a fatal combination of drugs or suicide. Their median age at death Omega Speedmaster 38 Cappuccino was 28 . The problems were even more severe among veterans with a primary diagnosis of PTSD: 80 percent died of overdose, suicide or a single vehicle crashes.

The House Committee on Veteran Affairs regularly holds hearings on veteran issues; in 2007 and 2008, its members ordered the VA to provide better data on suicides among veterans after CBS News reported alarmingly high numbers of veteran suicides, which the agency initially sought to suppress.

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