My nightmares about Iraq come about once a month. They’re one of the “benefits” of my 2004-05 deployment with an Army combat arms unit.
These nocturnal angst-fests present themselves in a few forms. Most commonly, I’m left behind as the convoy drives off into the night, leaving me alone in an Iraqi city. There also are general anxiety dreams where I can’t find my helmet, ammo, or some other critical component of my combat load.
My experiences are not uncommon. I’ve spoken with other veterans about their dreams and even have asked some pointedly, “So, how are your nightmares?”
Such nightmares are one of the more subtle effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the manifestations of which can run a gamut from nightmares to fear of crowds to substance abuse to even suicide…