Coaster death shows risks of vets' thrill-seeking

July 16, 2011 - 11:14 AM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Combat veterans can come home from war hungry for adrenaline, taking up pastimes like motorcycle racing or sky diving to satisfy their cravings.

And some who come home without arms or legs are simply determined to do the things they did before war redefined normal.

James Hackemer's family insists the father of two who lost his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq was no thrill-seeker, but his fatal fall from a roller coaster highlights the challenge of finding a balance.

In fact, riding a roller coaster can be a good way for veterans to feel the rush they crave after living in a hypervigilant state in a war zone.

A recent Army report noted a rise in risky behavior among soldiers, including drunken driving and drug abuse.