Wounds That Don't Bleed

How severe stress is taking a toll on U.S. troops in Iraq--and what Washington is doing about it

Full-scale offensives like Fallujah inevitably exact a psychic toll. Yet the punishing strain of fighting a hydra-headed insurgency afflicts U.S. troops even on what passes for a normal day in Iraq. Sergeant Justin Harding of the Ramadi-based 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, can't get one of those October days out of his head. His squad, Reaper 2 of Whiskey Company, was heading back to base along one of Iraq's most dangerous roads. The squad's convoy, towing a vehicle disabled by a roadside bomb, was running at slow speed, making it vulnerable to ambush. Sure enough, an insurgent with a rocket-propelled-grenade (RPG) launcher,...

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