Six word memoirs from Iraq and Afghanistan:
I was born years after the last US soldier had officially left Vietnam, but, growing up, the specter of the war was constantly at my back. It rode with us in the car on bright days that might erupt into a sudden summer storm, turning my father's mood black and edgy because it reminded him of the jungle. It was ever present on the nights when my dad, drunk and brooding, sat me on his lap and recounted his killing of a Vietnamese teenager. The problem of lasting trauma is perhaps best stated in Lethal Warriors by General Mark Graham who says, "PTSD is like a hurricane. If you're in the path, it doesn't matter who you are, it hits you."