For the American soldier, it’s become the sneakiest of all sneak attacks to watch out for – the enemy’s final chance to wreak havoc by secretly following the soldier home and attacking him and his loved ones there.

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD – frequently characterized as “bringing the enemy home with you” – has become an epidemic in the U.S. military. But because of a dramatic breakthrough from the grassroots, there is new hope.

The problem is dire. Exacerbated by back-to-back tours of duty in a war environment where enemy combatants are often indistinguishable from civilians and every passing vehicle a potential car bomb, up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war vets are currently struggling with PTSD, according to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs.

And the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health, calling combat “a life-changing experience, imposing long-lasting emotional challenges for combatants,” reports a staggering “20 to 50 percent of active duty service members and Reservists reported psychosocial problems, relationship problems, depression, and symptoms of stress reactions, but most report that they have not yet sought help for these problems.”

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