Army Captain Drew Pham was 24 years old when he completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan in October 2011.
Since returning, Drew has had a hard time making sense of what he saw at war and adjusting to life at home.
At StoryCorps, he spoke with his wife, Molly Pearl, about that transition and some of his most difficult combat memories.
Drew was honorably discharged from the Army in 2013.
Click here for the transcript.
Molly Pham (MP): I had a hard time responding to some of the things you would tell me.
DP: I did a lot of bad things. We killed this sixty or seventy-year-old schoolteacher. He was an old man and snipers shot him because he had a two-liter water bottle in his hand and we thought it was a rocket. I had to go and clean up the mess. I had to talk to his son and try and convince him that, you know, it was a mistake, I'm sorry.
So all this stuff happens, I come home and even though it was hard to fight in Afghanistan... here in the States, I don't even know how to talk to people. I don't think anything that anyone says anymore is important, or what they think or what they feel. Sometimes I want to take everyone that I know to Afghanistan and force them to see it. I want them to feel all of it.
MP: I remember when you first joined, I would tell you that eventually we would look back and it would be four years just like college was four years and that used to really help you -- that ability to look past and see how time always moves on and moves you with it. I don't know if that ever happens with Afghanistan.
DP: I don't think that this is ever really gonna be over for any of us. I mean honestly, like you, you really are the only thing that keeps me going.
MP: That's tough but I'm okay with that.
DP: I still don't know how to carry on a normal life with all these things, but at least I get to carry all of those things with you.