Yeah, they had one of our dudes on Xanax. It's like he was in love all of a sudden with the drug and the psychiatrists and became the biggest coward ready to denounce any of us if he was not behaving in his own best interest.
It was a nightmare. He was a good soldier and he came out completely ate up, inconsiderate, unprofessional and was screaming at the top of his lungs about why the commander did not want him to touch the equipment while under the influence of "happy pills".
It's like a drunk who gets angry for you taking away his car keys, trying to influence you and I while they are under the influence of a substance that makes them think they are invincible and can act like jerks if they want to. However, unlike alcohol temporary effects, it seemed that Xanax got him real stuck on stupid for a long time.
Alan never took the pills they gave him. I do believe it was Xanax, and as I recall, the VA marked his file as if he killed himself due to depression. I can tell you that he wasn’t depressed when he left, and there’s no way to know now if those pills would’ve helped him adjust back to civilian life.
When he got back, he drank... A LOT. I took him to an AA meeting, but he shrugged it off later and simply said, “That’s not me.” I never evangelized to him about it, because I truly believed that he didn’t drink for the same reason those in AA drank.
Alan believed that what he was doing in Iraq truly meant something. He said the locals were grateful for their presence. He spoke Arabic pretty well, and he was often an interpreter/liaison for his squad. He said the locals often related stories about the brutality of the police under Saddam and feared that when Americans left, the country would be left with something even worse than the old guard police. Apparently their fears were justified.