Dealing with the unseen scars of war

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New York (CNN) — His vivid memories from the battlefield won’t go away: a Taliban surface-to-air missile striking a Chinook helicopter, killing everyone on board. The ensuing firefight that nearly killed him.

Shooting down an enemy combatant and watching his body fall, lifeless, in his tracks.

The flashbacks led to post-traumatic stress disorder for the soldier, who shared his story but did not want his name used.

“The helicopter shoot-down stands out as the number one ‘Holy s–t, I might die’ experience,” he said. “But the personal nature of killing [the enemy combatant] bothered me the most.”
His mental anguish began the night after killing the man.

“We had hunted him down; I remember laughing as the bursts missed as he [was] running for his life,” the soldier said. “I was euphoric when he finally went down. That night was my first panic attack as I slept.

“It haunted me then, and now, that I actually enjoyed hunting a man and killing.”

Read the complete story at CNN.