How trauma of war hits U.S. troops
FORWARD OPERATING BASE BOSTICK, Afghanistan — More than half a year after one of the deadliest battles ever waged by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the men of Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry are still fighting in — and with — their memories.
They cannot forget Oct. 3, 2009. On that day, 300 insurgents attacked two outposts in eastern Afghanistan manned by 72 soldiers, sparking a 12-hour fight. By nightfall, eight U.S. soldiers were dead. Three days later, the outposts were closed.
Like so many of their comrades, they suffer from mental trauma. Nearly 20 percent of the 1.6 million troops who had returned from Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress or major depression, according to a 2008 study by Rand Corp.