Modern combat has changed since the 40's, 50's, and 60's.
Instead of a long boat ride home, these soldiers are magically transported from sleeping on top of the roof of their 5-ton at night in Februar and eating MREs, gritty from moondust, straight into mommy's arms and a home cooked meal...
There is no transition time any more. No time to adjust.
Also, the OpTempo (Operations Tempo) had been way higher after 9/11 than it had in the previous wars. (Gulf War excepted, but that was a what - a 100-day war?)
Soldiers didn't get R&R or mid-tour leave like they used to in Vietnam and before. Even during WWII American Soldiers would get R&R time back in places like Paris, for example, far away from the front lines.
SOC (Special Operations Command) though, treats the soldiers well. They have priority bulge, and they get priority psych treatment.
Not like the little grunt 11B10 at a line company.
Its the younger guys at the regular line units that suffer from the PTSD the most.
Army Truck Drivers had it the worst because the IEDs were targeted for them and it took its toll.
One of the worst sounds is the sound that a garbage truck makes when it drops one of those big metal empty garbage bins - its just like a mortar.
I still get nervous around garbage and cement trucks because they are good hiding places for VBIEDs.
We would get rocketed or mortared every day, multiple times a day in 2004, and we would have to run and scurry like rats into hiding every time to our faggy bunkers. I would get in trouble because I would sleep through rocket and mortar attacks.
Fuck this world.
I'm just trying to find a place where I can hang out.