Mental Effects of War In-Depth Exclusive Part II

Post traumatic stress disorder is affecting one in every five soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why it is so important to take to time to debrief after battle. In this in-depth look at the war in the Middle East we have been talking with local U.S.. Army Sergeant David Vasquez who served two tours in Afganistan and two tours in Iraq.

By telling his story he says he wants to help Americans to better understand our current war. Sergeant David Vasquez says many of his fellow soldiers are suffering from PTSD.

"You know you'll mourn them when the time is proper," says Vasquez, "And that is why I think alot of soldiers have wrong with them is not being able to go through the grieving process at the time when it happens."

A car door slamming, lightning, thunder, or an unusual noise can all trigger traumatic memories of war.

Psychotherapist Dr. Clayton Hoffman who has counseled soldier's after war says, "When it's an unpleasant experience we tend to suppress those feelings and emotion and push them into the subconscious. It's like setting a kettle on the stove full of water and stopping up the vents."

While Vasquez says he is not suffering from ptsd, the memorizes of war are still triggered subconsciously.

"Every time I hear somebody coming or even the truck drivers outside closing our slamming their doors at 3 in the morning, I still want to make sure I have something to defend myself with."

Dr. Hoffman says the best way to overcome PTSD is to get a soldier to relive his traumatic experiences and then find a way to cope with them.

"Group therapy is still very effective with this also because their peers will confront them. You may not be telling us all that's happened at that point and they will push them to it until they purge themselves of it, get them to express it."

PTSD does not always show up immediately. Soldiers may develop it several years after returning for battle.

If you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD

*WTAMU Soldier's Group Counseling 651-2729 or e-mail at

*American Supports You 681-3596 or

* Veterans Readjustment Counseling Services 354-9779