Middlebury

The war within: What goes on in the brain of a combat veteran?

The medical facility at Camp Ramadi, the U.S. military base for thousands of soldiers in the heart of Iraq’s Al Anbar Province, is a hardened building that features a trauma ward about the size of a small conference room. The walls of the room are lined with medical supplies, and every piece of equipment—gurneys, operating tables, crash carts—is portable, allowing the utmost flexibility when dealing with multiple incoming casualties. When the casualties do come in, the room is often crowded with people, though they are well versed in the choreography of medical combat trauma; rarely does someone get in another’s way.