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Troops Coming Home. What Now?

With the recent announcement that American troops will be withdrawing from war, there is going to be much need for help and support.  From the article Rules of Engagement at the Psychotherapy Network:

Many coalition troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have spent five years alternating between trying to kill and trying not to be killed. Think back to what you were doing five years ago, and what you’ve done since then. Now imagine spending every one of those 2,629,800 minutes wondering whether it was going to be your last.

Later on in the article, what is to be expected from the troops returning is explained:

Expect angry reactions. Intense anger is a predictable side effect of having been “down range.” It’s often the reason combat veterans seek care. There are two key reasons for this. First, of the three self-preserving responses hardwired into the human brain (fight, flight, freeze), combat training is all about habituating “fight” as the automatic response to any threat, and eliminating the “flight” and “freeze” responses. Once that’s ingrained, every perceived threat, regardless of context, is likely to be met with the anger that encourages the fight response—which can create a host of problems in civilian life.

Here is a powerful scene from the movie Brothers where a soldier is having a PTSD anger reaction:

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