Anthony Torres was not on the front lines when he was sent to work at Abu Ghraib Hospital in Iraq in 2004, during the second U.S. assault on anti-U.S. insurgents down the road in Fallujah. In the aftermath of the killing and mutilation of four U.S. contractors and the discovery of torture at Abu Ghraib prison, the Iraq War was at its horrifying height. As a mental health technician, Torres’ job was to counsel Marines and soldiers struggling with fear, depression, rage and mental trauma.
But with nearby explosions rattling the sky every day, random death raining in on the camp in the form of mortars and stray fire (which killed a fellow medic as he stepped out of a trailer), the flow of wounded men, and the agonized stories he heard, Torres dealt with his own share of stress.
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