Finally, a "Surge" the Times Will Cover

As long as it's an expected surge in the number of homeless Iraq War veterans.

The Iraq War is causing homelessness, too, reporter Eric Eckholm argued in his story on Thursday, "Surge in Number of Homeless Veterans Is Anticipated."

"More than 400 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have turned up homeless, and the Veterans Affairs Department and aid groups say they are bracing for a new surge in homeless veterans in the years ahead."

Interesting that the Times has no qualms about using the word "surge" in a straightforward manner in a story on homeless vets; by contrast, Damien Cave's report the same day on the apparent routing of Al Qaedafrom Baghdad put "surge" in quotation marks, as the paper invariably does when discussing the troop increase in Iraq.

Cave's interview with Gen. Joseph Fil in Baghdad made page A-19; meanwhile, "House Backs Broad Protections for Gay Workers" made the Times' front page.

"With more women serving in combat zones, the current wars are already resulting in a higher share of homeless women as well. They have an added risk factor: roughly 40 percent of the hundreds of homeless female veterans of recent wars have said they were sexually assaulted by American soldiers while in the military, officials said.

"'Sexual abuse is a risk factor for homelessness,' Pete Dougherty, the V.A.'s director of homeless programs, said.

"Special traits of the current wars may contribute to homelessness, including high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and traumatic brain injury, which can cause unstable behavior and substance abuse, and the long and repeated tours of duty, which can make the reintegration into families and work all the harder."