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Friday, July 18, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Number of U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq 3X Higher...
2003-07-18

For the Lucky Few Soldiers Returning Home From Iraq, Another Battle Awaits: Anxiety, Sleepless Nights, Depression.

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Democracy Now! speaks with the wife of a deployed soldier and the Christian Science Monitor’s Ann Scott Tyson about the emotional and mental toll of war.

Today we are also going to talk about another battle soldiers are facing: coming home and post traumatic stress disorder.

A piece in the Christian Science Monitor begins like this:

“On his first weekend home from Iraq, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Gilmartin was driving down a sunny highway in Kissimee, Fla., when something suddenly felt very wrong.

“In a panic, Sergeant Gilmartin stepped on the brakes of his black Dodge Dakota pickup, jumped out in the middle of the six-lane road and started searching around the truck. Then it registered: He was looking for his M-16 rifle.

"I had basically an anxiety attack," Gilmartin recalled. "I was missing something and needed to do something." A policeman who had served in Vietnam approached Gilmartin and took him to the side of the road to sit for a while.

"Gilmartin, who returned here June 3 with his 3rd Infantry Division artillery battalion, is among the first American GIs to trickle back from the war zone. The troubles he recounts–anxiety, sleepless nights, depression–represent the mental and emotional toll experienced by many of those who fought in the Iraq war."

  • Ann Scott Tyson, special correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor. Her report "The other battle: coming home" examines the trauma and stress of combat on soldiers returning home from Iraq.
  • Dominique Marabello, wife of Anthony Marabello, a soldier in the 3rd Infantry Division.
    The wife of another soldier had agreed to speak with us anonymously today to discuss her frustrations with military life and the deployment extension. She cancelled after speaking with her husband.

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