Erin Trieb

The War In Afghanistan: The War At Home

After serving 12 months in Afghanistan in 2009, the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team returned home to their base at Fort Drum located in upstate, New York. Although the transition back to civilian life was normal for most, many soldiers struggled after returning home and were diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). These soldiers were from units that experienced some of the war’s heaviest fighting and casualty losses. Three soldiers from the 3rd Brigade--Staff Sergeant Cody Anderson, Specialist Adam Ramsey, and Special Dirk Terpstra--struggled with PTSD and substance and alcohol addiction after they returned, which resulted in severe consequences, abuse and suicide. Their deaths and struggles had a rippling effect on their families, loved ones, and surrounding communities.

After returning home from a 12 month deployment in Afghanistan, US soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division receive awards for valor at the MaGrath Gym in Fort Drum, New York.
  
A US soldier from the 10th Mountain Division walks across fresh fallen snow outside of an infantry barracks building, which houses unmarried soldiers, at Fort Drum, New York.
  
US infantry soldiers Specialist Ryan Cooley, left, and Adam Ramsey, right, (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) smoke cigarettes in the infantry barracks, which houses unmarried soldiers, at Fort Drum, New York.
     
  
US infantry soldiers PVC Cody Marshall, left,  SPC Justin Morris, center, and SPC Brandon Bostwick, right (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) tailor their Class A uniforms in the infantry barracks building which houses unmarried soldiers, at Fort Drum, New York.
  
US infantry soldiers (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) engage in drunken wrestling and play-flighting in the infantry barracks which houses unmarried soldiers at Fort Drum, New York.
  
Photographs of Stefanie Strausser whose fiance, Staff Sergeant Cody Anderson, 26, (of Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment) was arrested for assault the day after he returned home from a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan.  The day after Anderson returned home from serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan he became intoxicated and was arrested for assaulting Strausser outside of a bar.  Shortly afterward, the Fort Drum mental health department diagnosed Anderson with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and bi-polar disorder, subscribing him several medications.  On the morning of Jan. 14, 2010 Anderson was found dead in his apartment.  Although the Watertown Daily Times claimed his death was an
     
  
Stefanie Strausser mourns the death of her late fiance, Staff Sergeant Cody Anderson (of the 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division) underneath the welcome home sign she made him in their apartment.  The day after Anderson returned home from serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan he became intoxicated and was arrested for assaulting Strausser outside of a bar.  Shortly after, the Fort Drum mental health department diagnosed Anderson with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and bi-polar disorder, subscribing him several medications.  On the morning of Jan. 14, 2010 Anderson was found dead in his apartment.  Although the Watertown newspaper first claimed his death was an
  
US infantry soldiers (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) sit in their rooms in the infantry barracks which houses unmarried soldiers at Fort Drum, New York.
  
A unit of US soldiers exercise early on a cold winter morning on the grounds of Fort Drum, Fort Drum, New York.
     
  
US infantry soldiers (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) excercise and lift weights in the gym at Fort Drum, New York.
  
US infantry soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment stand in line for a urinalysis around the locker room at Fort Drum, New York.
  
In a hometown bar US soldier SPC Adam Ramsey, 22, center, talks on the phone while socializing with friends in Carson City, Nevada.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
     
  
US soldier SPC Adam Ramsey, 22, lies on his bed while high off medication at his home in Carson City, Nevada.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22,  looks out of the window at his home in Carson City, Nevada.While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier SPC Adam Ramsey, 22, takes medication to treat depression, anxiety and hallucinations at his home in Carson City, Nevada.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
     
  
US soldier SPC Adam Ramsey, 22, has an anxiety attack at his home in Carson City, NV, Feb. 2010.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, shows where he has self-mutilated his legs at his home in Carson City, Nevada. While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, rubs his eyes after having an anxiety attack at his home in Carson City, Nevada.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
     
  
US Soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, experiences a psychotic disturbance at his home in Carson City, Nevada.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, relaxes with friend, Savannah Gordon, after consuming a mixture of prescription medicines and drugs at his home in Carson City, Nevada.   While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
     
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, checks himself into a civilian hospital in Watertown, New York. While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after he returned from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, shows the cuts on his arm (horizontal lines on right arm) that he has self-inflicted in his barracks room at Fort Drum, New York.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after returning from Nevada to Fort Drum.
  
US soldier Specialist Adam Ramsey, 22, mops the floors of a locker room at Fort Drum, New York.  While serving a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan Ramsey was diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).  While in Nevada on leave, he  experienced hallucinations, depression, and suicidal thoughts; he self-medicated mixing prescribed medications with alcohol, a common practice among soldiers with post-deployment disorders.   Fearing that he would take his own life, Ramsey checked himself in to a mental health hospital after returning from Nevada to Fort Drum.
     
  
Soldiers of the US National Guard fold a flag at the funeral of US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, (of Bravo Company, 1-32nd Infantry Regiment) at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, in Agusta, Michigan.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a family friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family says that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe his condition worsened after having served in Afghanistan.
  
Tess Terpstra, left,  embraces Jay Terpstra, right, at the funeral of US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, in Agusta, Michigan; photgraphed March, 8, 2010.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family said that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe that his condition worsened after serving in Afghanistan.
  
Family and friends mourn the death of US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, in Agusta, Michigan; photgraphed March, 8, 2010.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family said that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe that his condition worsened after serving in Afghanistan.
     
  
Tess Terpstra, center, is embraced by a friend at the funeral of US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, in Agusta, Michigan; photgraphed March, 8, 2010.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family said that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe that his condition worsened after serving in Afghanistan.
  
Friends and family shovel dirt over the ashes of US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, in Agusta, Michigan; photgraphed March, 8, 2010.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family said that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe that his condition worsened after serving in Afghanistan.
  
Between the tree and the mailbox, US infantry soldier Specialist Dirk Terpstra, 26, (Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment) committed suicide in  Kalamazoo, Michigan; photgraphed March, 8, 2010.  After serving a 12- month deployment in Afghanistan in 2009, Terpstra committed suicide while on leave near his home in Kalamazoo on Feb. 24, 2010.  The night of his death Terpstra visited a local bar with friends where he became intoxicated and shot himself in the head in a friend's front yard.  Terpstra's family said that although before his deployment Terpstra experienced deep depression and had previously made suicidal attempts, they believe that his condition worsened after serving in Afghanistan.