Afghanistan vet struggles to get his life back
An Afghanistan veteran overcomes disillusionment and anger to reclaim his life back home
Pensacola News Journal
Dec. 21, 2013
Colin Savoie joined the Army in 2008 as a young American idealist. But like so many who fought in Afghanistan or Iraq, he survived physical wounds only to find his biggest battle loomed back home: to save his tortured soul.
The 23-year-old Milton resident enlisted in search of a cause, an honorable mission in the tradition of the storyline in “Saving Private Ryan.” The 1998 epic focuses on a fictional World War II Army squad assigned to rescue a soldier whose three brothers had been killed in combat.
Watching the movie on television at age 10, Savoie recalled, “I remember seeing Tom Hanks and thinking how he didn’t care about himself and how he wanted to save that kid. I wanted to be that person, to have that feeling: It’s not about me. It’s about everyone else.”
Honorably discharged in August 2012, the Purple Heart recipient represents an all-too-common statistic as one of about 500,000 combat veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.
That’s about twice the number of troops in the legendary Third Army commanded by one of World War II’s most famous generals, George Patton, who was quoted as saying he wouldn’t allow what was then known as “battle fatigue” to excuse a soldier from combat.
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