More than 665,000 Reserve and National Guard members have deployed to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years. As they headed to war and then as they came home, they were met by medical screening and support networks that were often ill-equipped to serve them — especially to deal with the wars’ signature wounds, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Ten Medill graduate students selected for a special three-month investigative project examined the issue of how the military health care system works for the National Guard and Reserve, a system largely run by contractors.

Hidden Surge is supported by the McCormick Foundation, which awarded scholarships to the students to work on the second annual project of the Medill School of Journalism’s National Security Journalism Initiative, which aims to be a resource for those reporting on national security issues.

In addition to appearing on the Hidden Surge website, three of the stories were published by media partner The Washington Post.