Treating Iraq War veterans feels different from treating Vietnam War veterans, says Victoria Beckner, a psychologist who studies post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. Many Vietnam War veterans are haunted by memories of killing an enemy in hand-to-hand combat. Their therapists, in turn, also feel “the horror of almost losing one’s own life, plus the pain of taking someone else’s,” she says.

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