He's "learning to live with it," but former Army Sgt. Carl Oliver says troubling memories of the day he lost two comrades and was seriously wounded in Baghdad "stick with you."
More than seven years later, the Trenton man battles an enemy that has gone by many names -- from melancholia and shell shock to battle fatigue and war neurosis.
He's one of more than 223,000 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at Veterans Affairs hospitals. The number represents at least 17 percent of the 1.3 million who have served in the wars.
New PTSD cases are coming in at a rate of more than 3,000 a month, even as the United States completed its withdrawal from Iraq over the weekend and continues the longest conflict in the nation's history in Afghanistan.
The influx has strained the resources of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which is hiring more mental-health professionals to meet the growing need. Nearly 300 were added over the last quarter, from July 1 to Sept. 30.
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