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“A lot of soldiers think it's a weakness to look for help. It's a weakness not to stand up for yourself and get the help.” (audio interview, 1:17:08)

   Larry Stephen Rosenthal
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War: Afghan War, 2001-; Cold War
Branch: Army; Army
Unit: 50th Personnel Service Branch, 10th Mountain Division, Army National Guard; 114th Infantry Regiment; 250th Forward Support Battalion
Service Location: New York; Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan; also: New Jersey; Fort Jackson, South Carolina
Rank: First Sergeant
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Larry Stephen Rosenthal enlisted in the New Jersey National Guard at the age of 33, expecting to provide civil defense and disaster relief in his home state. But after more than 20 years of service, he deployed to Afghanistan, where he performed perimeter security duties at Bagram Airbase. After months of spending his nights on alert, he returned home to find he had difficulty sleeping and had a heightened sense of awareness. After an incident of what he describes as "blind rage," he knew the strongest thing he could do was seek professional help.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (149 min.)
»Transcript
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»PTSD: A Lasting Impact of War
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Serving as a chaplain’s assistant after 9/11; encouraging search and rescue workers; roles of chaplains of different faiths. (07:30) Training for Afghanistan; deployment; providing perimeter security; diagnosed with cancer; realizing he needed counseling. (20:36) Working with a partner; difficulty sleeping during the day; adjusting to a normal schedule after deployment; interacting with local people. (11:29)
More alert after deployment; heightened awareness; acquiring supplies for a USO facility; benefits of service. (08:26) Realizing he needed to control his anger; resources needed to care for veterans; difficulty of transitioning between civilian life and active duty. (12:39) 
  
 

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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