WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) -- One-third of the U.S. veterans with three or more deployments to Afghanistan suffer from psychological problems, a military study says.
"We're an Army that's in uncharted territory here," Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, said in a USA Today report Monday.
"We have never fought for this long with an all-volunteer force that's 1 percent of the population."
Chiarelli said the morale of troops in Afghanistan is getting worse despite a greater focus by the military on mental health.
The report said a third of the veterans with three or more deployments to Afghanistan show signs of stress, depression or anxiety.
The study, based on a survey of soldiers and Marines in 2010, also found that the praise troops have for their sergeants has never been higher as the United States approaches the 10th year in its longest war.
Chiarelli said increasing the time between deployments seems to help combat stress.
"I'm not worried about our ability to continue the fight," Chiarelli said. "Folks who are coming home now are going to see that they're not going back for 24 months. And that hasn't been the way it's been for 10 years."
The government has doubled its mental health staffing in Afghanistan since 2009, the report said.