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The nightmares bring Flores back to Iraq, and her service in the Army's 92nd Chemical Company. She was just 19 when her unit arrived there. Now 23, she's left with memories of women and children being killed, of hauling bodies, of shooting a teenage Iraqi fighter. ("It was him or me," she says.)
"I'm fine with what I did over there ...," Flores says. "In my eyes, I did a good thing. It really doesn't bother me. The only thing that bothers me is I just want to sleep more."
Flores is one of a new generation of women who have returned from war to cope with emotional stress or physical wounds that linger long after the sounds of mortar and gunfire have faded. Studies of Vietnam and Gulf War veterans have documented post-traumatic stress in females — with higher rates than men, in some cases.