Challenges faced by soldiers
Soldiers each face different challenges after war and they each require additional help reintegrating back into society. It is different for each of them because soldiers have to deal with the guilt of what their families are going through because they have a family member in the war, the mental health problems induced by war, and the way that their world outlook changes.
Plenty of soldiers have to deal with the guilt that their family is struggling with the fact that they have a family member in the war this is evident in Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers explains what it is like for families of soldiers fighting in a war. The main character Richie finishes writing a letter to his family back home when he thinks "I knew Mama loved me, but I also knew when I got back, she would expect me to be the same person, but it could never happen. She hadn't been to Nam. She hadn't given her poncho to anybody to wrap a body in, or stepped over a dying kid." (267). Richie knows that his family will have to deal with the ways he has changed. He knows it will be difficult emotionally for them and they are going to need help. This idea is strengthened when Myers writes "I was always the bright one and [Mama] always the one who did not understand what I needed. Now all I could think of was how much I needed her" (142). Richie thinks about what his mother is going through and how she wants to help her child but is unable to. She has to deal with the emotional baggage of being unable to help her son who desperately needs help. Richie not only has to deal with the problems his family is going through but with the problems of his fellow soldiers.
Many soldiers return home from war with varying kinds of mental illness. In Flags Of Our Fathers by James Bradley, one of the flag raisers named Ira Hayes struggles with alcoholism. His condition gets worst after the war. James Bradley talks about the extent of Ira's addiction after the war when he writes "[Ira's] arrests for drunkenness in Phoenix and surrounding towns piled up. (Bradley 317). Ira's drunkenness affects his life because he is always in jail for public intoxication due to his addiction. The DSM IV is a book by the American Psychiatric Associations that diagnose mental disorders and they define alcohol abuse as "School and job performance may suffer either from the aftereffects of drinking of from actual intoxication individuals with alcohol abuse may continue to abuse alcohol despite the knowledge that continued consumption poses significant social or interpersonal problems for them." (APA 196). Ira continues to abuse alcohol, even though it causes major problems for him. Ira requires help from a professional who deals with mental health. Another character who deals with mental health issues is the narrator from "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen. Owen writes about the experiences of a soldier suffering from PTSD caused by the first world war. Owen identifies it's PTSD when he writes "In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, / He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning" ( Owen lines 15-6). Owen uses his description of the dream to show the flashback the narrator is having due to his PTSD. The narrator of the poem requires just as much specialized care as Ira.