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Can You Face the True Consequences of War? The Horrors of Bagging Soldiers' Bodies in Iraq

Those who die end up in the care of fellow servicemen and women who have to carry out gruesome work while struggling to hold on to their own sanity.

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“War is disgusting and horrific,” she said. “It never leaves the people who were involved in it. The damage is far greater than the lists of casualties or cost in dollars. It permeates lifestyles. It infects cultures and people and worldviews. The war is never over for us. The fighting stops. The troops get called back. But the war goes on for those damaged by war.”

Not long ago she received a text message from a Marine she had worked with in Mortuary Affairs after he tried to commit suicide.

“I’ve got $2,000 in the bank,” the message read. “Let’s meet in NYC and go out with a bang.”

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute. He writes a regular column for TruthDig every Monday. His latest book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle .

 
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