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Week of 6.13.08

Soldiers' Stories

Two soldiers talk to NOW on PBS about the personal trauma they experienced while fighting in Iraq.

Jonathan Norrell

Jonathan Norrell, who served as an Army medic in Iraq, describes how he transformed from a strong and proud soldier who "loved" being in the military to a man so scarred he could no longer do his job. His touching and terrifying stories of life and death in Iraq—as well as the crippling effects of the war—are also captured in a personal journal he kept during his treatment for PTSD after he returned from Iraq.

Extra: Read an excerpt from Jonathan Norrell's Journal [pdf]

David Chavarria

On David Chavarria's last mission to Iraq, something unbearable happened: his friend died in his arms. In this web-extended interview, Chavarria describes the guilt, depression and fear that led him to attempt suicide. When he turned to the Army for help, their response left him cold. After ten years of serving his country, he was told he had a personality disorder and was given ten days to leave the military. Chavarria's wife spearheaded a movement to fight back.