Mental Effects of War In-Depth Exclusive - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Mental Effects of War In-Depth Exclusive

Searching for Osama Bin Ladin was his mission and bringing democracy to the less fortunate was his goal.

Every American is affected by the war in Afghanistan and Iraq in some way.

2001 Palo Duro graduate and Army Sergeant David Vasquez earned a purple heart during his first of four tours to Afghanistan and Iraq.

By telling his story he says he wants to help Americans understand the struggles and triumphs of fighting the enemy.

During his first tour Sergeant Vasquez says his platoon was asked to pull hair samples from dead Iraqis for DNA tests, in hopes of finding Osama Bin Ladin.

"You'd come across what I'd describe as a dead dog." He says,"A couple of times you'd be engaged by some diehards I guess you could say who, I think they were high on Opium because allot of the times when they would engage us they didn't seem that they were sober."

The hardest part for Vasquez was loosing fellow platoon members he calls his brothers.

"Having them killed was like having a two by four to the face but you still have a job to do."

And demonstrating the courage to continue on is why Vasquez says many of his fellow solider's developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"Not being able to grieve at the time that it happens and then having it all bunched in and returning to the united states and blowing it all out. "

And despite all he has been through Vasquez says he would go back to the Middle East again in a heart beat.

He says,"When you go there it's fulfilling. Unfortunately not everyone feels that way. You know other solider's that join right out of high school they might become disillusioned and get out, but I loved going overseas it was very very adventurous."

Sergeant Vasquez says he plans to spend his last two years in the military with the National Guard.

Friday night we will take a look at why Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a prominent side effect of our current war and how adjusting to life back in Amarillo has been for Vasquez.

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