The war at home

July 8, 2008 at 6:18 am | Posted in U.S. Politics | Leave a comment

In a brilliant and depressing article, Lizette Alvarez reminds us that war continues long after everyone’s left the battlefield:

Most nights when Anthony Klecker, a former marine, finally slept, he found himself back on the battlefields of Iraq. He would awake in a panic, and struggle futilely to return to sleep.

Days were scarcely better. Car alarms shattered his nerves. Flashbacks came unexpectedly, at the whiff of certain cleaning chemicals. Bar fights seemed unavoidable; he nearly attacked a man for not washing his hands in the bathroom.

Desperate for sleep and relief, Mr. Klecker, 30, drank heavily. One morning, his parents found him in the driveway slumped over the wheel of his car, the door wide open, wipers scraping back and forth. Another time, they found him curled in a fetal position in his closet.

Yet only after his drunken driving caused the death of a 16-year-old cheerleader did Mr. Klecker acknowledge the depth of his problem: His eight months at war had profoundly damaged his psyche.

More here. Unsurprisingly, not nearly enough is being done to give Anthony and thousands upon thousands of his fellow servicemen & women the support they need when they return home.

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