US Iraq invasion anniversary: PTSD haunts thousands of post 9/11 war veterans

21,000 post 9/11 vets in Florida are unemployed

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the start of a war that still divides our nation.

President Barack Obama pulled the final U.S. forces out, but the war is still taking a toll on veterans and their families, on our federal finances and on Iraqis.

In the wake of 9/11 President George Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell made the case that Saddam Hussein was set to use weapons of mass destruction.

The war cost $2.2 trillion. 100,000 Iraqis died. Nearly 4,500 Americans lost their lives, and many lost limbs.

Thousands more American veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including Anthony Sanders, who lives in Boca Raton.

Transitioning to civilian life isn't as easy as taking off a uniform. Sanders say in part because of his PTSD, he hasn't been able to hold down full time work.

He's one of 21,000 post 9/11 war veteran who are unemployed in Florida.

"There's lots of veterans out there who can't find work and are surviving on a VA stipend like me," says Sanders.

Sanders has survivors guilt and thinks about his fallen comrades often. He admits he gets angry when someone questions whether U.S. troops should've ever march into Iraq.

"To say people died for nothing, they left behind family and children, to say it was a waste is an insult," says Sanders.

But insults could never erase the reason Sanders volunteered to go to war in the first place.

"There were people with kids and families over there fighting and I felt I owed it to myself and them to fight for the flag," says Sanders.

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