I have a buddy my elementary school who fought in the Iraq War. He was a nice guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. So I couldn't see him joining the military or even go to war.
He went over and did a two year tour. He was sent home only one time during his tour. His time away from Iraq was only one month. He seemed okay during his time home, but not 100 % the friend I knew my when we were kids. He seemed a little distant and not all the way present whenever we'd talk. Maybe he was still in Iraq.
I asked him about his time there and he never wanted to talk about it. I didn't pry. He was a hero to me and the rest of America. Only he didn't beam with happiness. One night we went out for dinner and drinks. My buddy took off for the restroom and was there for a while. He was having a flashback episode of his time in Iraq.
The next week he enrolled in therapy. As a friend he asked if I could go with him to therapy. I went to a few sessions and was glad to know what was happening. He seems to be better.
These days he is back to himself even when the war is mentioned. He seems to be able to handle the subject better.
My family has never attended a protest and never will. I have been tempted a couple of times, especially recently with the crazy political landscape. Anyway, my parents are and always have been adamant: no protests.