Author David Finkel Chronicles Lingering 'Nightmares' of US-Iraq War

Pulitzer Prize-winning author's new book, "Thank You for Your Service,"exposes profound effects of trauma on US soldiers.
3:00 | 11/25/13

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Transcript for Author David Finkel Chronicles Lingering 'Nightmares' of US-Iraq War
I am Bob Woodruff in this is -- makers from ABC news and Yahoo! News and I'm speaking with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. David Finkel. He's the author of the recently published book. Thank you for your service -- most of the reporting on the war of course is -- not that's it right there on the field or where you weren't so we only see. Physically what happens when it walks like when it feels like -- use -- But these guys. Most of them -- 1920 years old -- for the first time. And and they had a young -- sense of invincibility they were gonna go over there -- gonna win this thing that's what they thought. And then they got there allows -- neighborhood in east Baghdad. And they lost their first guy and the loss of certain -- in the third guy and farms kept going off from the physical injuries mounted in the mental degradation began. So by the time they came home after after fifteen months in Baghdad of course they were changed. -- places. Just become so much worse than they ever expect -- -- -- so so there's one guy. -- write about quite a lot and and he had been. Considered a great soldier and is the time one of the very best and and the day came when he just because of an accumulation of events he couldn't do it anymore he had to leave the war is that -- -- Came home to a wife. Who is thinking. Well he's coming home under -- heel and we're going to be -- however we were. And then this an issue is -- for the first time since he's gone skeletal he's become she understands the whole -- is now a serious art for help. To -- the soldier -- Michael Emery. Every was a guy who was shot in the head. By sniper. Towards the beginning of the deployment. And obviously. Part of what what drove out of sure about the war was that team he. Evacuated -- off the roof. By putting him on his back and and then huffing and puffing his -- down three flights of stairs. And it so happened that. Some of the book coming out of -- had kept kept. River and down into out of shipments well this is a news briefing. So six us later without issuing was -- or one of the reasons was he if you were still you couldn't stop -- outlawed. It was it was present. -- -- the war Emory of course also left the war. Should have died didn't. Should -- walk walks shouldn't be able to talk talks and then it becomes more complicated because -- lost a good chunk whispering. He can't control as emotional impulses. He was married. And he he divorced his wife and then then and -- Move with another with their daughter to another state because he didn't want his daughter to -- opera on the man. Sarcasm and himself because he couldn't control his emotions. Democratic commences. He did -- end and he was so wounded -- then he so wanted to end his life and at one point. He did the only thing -- could think to do which was don't armistice that wasn't paralyzed to bring that up to his -- and try to fight his way. Through his wrists and -- So he didn't die and he is doing better. In the book you talk about Sargent Sherman and his -- you know and a weapon and and a in our hands right. He tells. His wife. It tells her to pull the trigger you know and this this this this -- really tough episode. They were fighting a lot of at this point and he was packing to leave. And he went for better when -- came out with a shotgun and and here's basically trying to goad her into doing what he wanted to do to himself but couldn't quite crossed -- line. -- -- -- -- -- Should shoot me shoot and shoot me shoot -- surprised -- just how much she wanted to shoot ration board and not enough shifts. I can't -- this way anymore and she just wanted to. Not kill him I think it's fair to say as much -- -- the situation. But this is the basic thing about soldiers I think this is this. It's underneath everything there is a capacity. For four. Tenderness. -- some happy endings. Republic I think even if we haven't seen physical injury. There's enough violence around -- -- of violence that we have a sense. What's going on but -- -- the invisible part -- that's the real insidious part here I'm not trying to take away from the physical injury. But -- mental injuries there's there's serious. And their ongoing and and and I'd like to think that that everybody's served over there and -- well. They should afford insurance feel better can be -- -- -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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