Eventually, they recognized
that someone on their side was continually putting them in harms way. They come to trust only each other, and the outside
world became irreverent.
Their team of snipers was compromised, and all
of them were killed.
Recovered the weapons of fallen their comrades.
Their troop transport vehicle was hit by a massive improvised explosive device and their
squad was killed and felt the true meaning of loneliness.
Ordered to continue
with the mission as though nothing had happened.
Arrived home, “it
seemed surreal.” They felt out of place at home than in Iraq.
isolated themselves from friends and family and dwelled in their emptiness.
of those called, “my brothers,” only to accept the loss of my best friends. “I was drunk and angry.”
A 2004 study of 6,000 military
personnel involved in ground combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan found that of those whose responses indicated a mental
health problem, only 23 to 40 percent sought psychiatric help. Many who did not seek treatment cited fear of being stigmatized
as a reason.
“You’re trained to be a warrior, to suck it up
and perform the mission.”
Struggled with alcoholism and attempted
Many veterans don’t feel safe disclosing information after
the ridicule and abuse following Vietnam.
may veterans have a difficult time fitting back into this culture.”
Day and Memorial Day events may trigger certain emotions in veterans.
about a road bomb explosion that killed members of their rifle squad. He as the lone survivor.”
“The closest guys I ever had as friends were all dead.”
Incidents left them with intense feelings of anger.
looked back at the accident site and saw guys throwing blankets over the body parts.” “I went up on the roof
and just wanted to start shooting anything moving that wasn’t wearing desert cammies. After that, everywhere I went
I thought I’d see my old buddies.”
Not every returning
veterans may be haunted by memories so intense, all of us are already serving veterans, so it's our job to learn
how to serve them better.