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A Story of War and the Life That Follows

Brian Castner talks about life after war and his memoir 'The Long Walk Home'

A soldier on patrol in Iraq. The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life that Follows (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Many soldiers' experiences on the battlefield will stay with them long after returning home. — Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Over the course of our nation's history, men and women have served in the military bravely, confronting the many dangers that face our country to continually protect our freedoms and lives.

See also: Healing America's heroes

Brian Castner is one those brave people. He served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an explosive ordnance disposal unit.

He and his unit dismantled IEDs wherever they threatened civilians or military personnel. It is one of the most dangerous and important jobs in the military. It is also one of the most emotionally and mentally demanding.

When Castner returned to his wife and family after he finished his tours of duty, he began fighting another equally fierce emotional and mental battle to readjust to a different life on the home front. The emotions that he struggles against, which for lack of a better term he dubs the Crazy, haunt him daily.

In this interview with Mike Cuthbert, Castner reveals his story of heartbreak, sacrifice and the camaraderie of war as well as the unending support from family and the lonely struggle with survivor guilt, which many veterans carry with them always. Castner's new memoir, The Long Walk, also details these and many other stories of war and the life that follows.

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VIDEO EXTRA

IRAQ VETS STORY: Behind-the-scenes look at AARP The Magazine story about caring for war veterans.

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