Private Battle, Part 2 (WCAX)

Franklin, Vermont - "I'd been in the Army 30 years ago. You just don't expect 30 years after getting out of the Army to suddenly be in a war situation."

But in 2005, that's where Vt. National Guard Sgt. Jim Greene found himself-- in Ramadi, Iraq, securing the area alongside other Vermonters as part of Task Force Saber.

"We started off with the hopes we weren't going to lose anybody," says Greene.

Six Vermonters from the unit died in combat. Greene photographed each memorial service in Iraq. One casualty was especially difficult. Greene carried a fallen soldier's remains after a roadside bomb took his life.

"We had an officer who brought what was left of these guys in an ammo can... and handed it to me. You don't know that feeling," Greene says, crying. "How do you let that go? You don't let it go. It stays with you the rest of your life."

The memories remain. But Greene managed to move on with his life. He returned to his family and his job back in Vermont. He's adjusted well.

Other Vermont Guard Soldiers are not so lucky.

"Filing bankruptcy and losing our home," says Dennis Delisle.

"We fought a long time to try to keep it but it's not looking good," says his wife, Mikell.

Dennis Delisle deployed to Iraq and lived through countless explosions. But what he saw there still haunts him. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"It's been real hard. I take medicine to keep me from suicide or being homicidal. It's a constant battle now," he says.

Delisle hasn't been able to hold down a job and his wife, Mikell, was laid off. She has to stay close to home to help her husband. They're nine months behind on their bills and house payments.

On this day, the couple heads to court forced to declare bankruptcy.

"Yeah, a lot of family history in the home, his family all grew up in it... and it's just rough," says Mikell.

"We have paid an inordinate price in life and suffering for such a small state," says Vt. National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Dubie.

Dubie says in addition to the casualties in Iraq, too many Vermonters suffer from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries-- or TBIs-- which include concussions. Many soldiers struggle to transition back to their normal lives. And at least three Iraq vets from Vermont committed suicide.

Reporter Darren Perron asks, "We're seeing more numbers of PTSD and TBI than any other conflict in American history... why is that?"

"There's no clear battle line. There's more people exposed to more stress than traditional conflict," answers Dubie. "They were exposed to a great deal of danger and a great deal of concussion."

The Defense Department's Mental Health Task Force says 38% of Army soldiers suffer PTSD or TBI. 31% of Marines do. The number is much higher among Guard members: nearly half who served in Iraq.

Why so many? Military officials say the countless explosions, the constant fear and because Guard Members have been called to duty in record numbers like never before. Most never thought they'd see battle. They're part-time citizen soldiers, many in their 30s and 40s. A majority signed up for the military benefits unaware that a lengthy and deadly war was ahead.

"People in the past had been drawn into the military for other reasons. They didn't anticipate they'd be fighting overseas. You're right... A majority of our people are doing well," says Dubie. "But the people who are having issues were exposed to great deals of stress. And in some cases trauma."

Dennis Delisle hopes he and his wife can pick up the pieces of their lives and find a new place to call home. He's getting counseling as his battle with PTSD continues.

"Once it took effect on me, everything snowballed downhill."

Experts on PTSD say it's crucial that soldiers like Delisle get help as soon as possible; as soon as they or their family members start to see the signs. That can make all the difference in getting a handle on the problem.

Here are some of the most common signs:

* Nightmares or flashbacks
* Insomnia
* Losing their temper
* Nervousness
* They don't want to talk about the war or even see it on TV
* They show no emotion
* They're on guard and over protective
* Anti-social

To learn more about PTSD-- visit the National Center for PTSD website.