The story behind the story
In the fall of 2009, photojournalist Erin Trieb went to Afghanistan for three months, spending part of her time embedded with infantry troops from the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army.
When the soldiers returned home months later Trieb traveled to Fort Drum in upstate New York to document their homecoming and their initial adjustment back into civilian life.
Some were clearly struggling. They exhibited classic symptoms of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s a condition that is suffered by about one in five soldiers returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they try to reconcile the experience of combat with their civilian lives in the United States. For some, PTSD was made worse by problems they carried with them even before they enlisted in the military.
Trieb moved close to the base to follow their adjustment, embarking on a long-term project about the lives of these soldiers.
View the video to hear from the soldiers, their friends and families about the effort—and for some, failure—to recover despite psychological help from the military.
In the slideshow below, get an intimate view of the soldiers' daily lives—the intensity of combat and the camaraderie, and even humor, of the quiet moments they experience while serving in Afghanistan.