After the Homecoming, Part 2, Matthew MacDaniels, Military - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

After the Homecoming Part 2: Matthew MacDaniels

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RUSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Our troops continue to withdraw from Afghanistan, but for many men and women the war continues once they are home.

The transition to civilian life isn't easy, it often leads to relationship and employment struggles, even post traumatic stress.

In our continuing "After the Homecoming," special reports, we meets a marine who served in Afghanistan.

Matthew MacDaniels is in the United States Marine Corps, he returned home from deployment in Afghanistan September 2011.

MacDaniels says, "I'm not the same person as I left as when I came back."

MacDaniels says his transition from soldier to civilian has been relatively easy, but some things are different.

He says, "my friends say the same thing, they say I don't have as much patients as I use to have, I have a little darker sense of humor.

MacDaniels says he could tell things were different soon after he returned home.

"I got in a crowd of people and just got really nervous and so I had to leave, that was pretty weird."

He says hearing some of the same noises he heard in Afghanistan still make him nervous.

MaDaniels says, "we heard some rd going off and we all kind of flinched and ducted our heads a little bit, and then we all started laughing because we were like oh yeah we're not overseas anymore."

He says despite some differences, one thing never changed, his drive to finish school.

MacDaniels is finishing his degree at Louisiana Tech.

He says the period from returning home from Afghanistan and waiting for school to start was the worst part of the transition.

He says, "it's like I had no purpose because over there I had a purpose you know I was on parole, looking for IEDs, providing security for the Afghans, and now you're sitting at home and you don't have your close friends that were there."

School quickly became MacDaniel's "fill the gap," that helped take his mind off of what he experienced.

He says, "it was an easy transition for me because some of my friends it wasn't but for me I had a routine again I could get back in so the time I was gone to doing something everyday."

MacDainels says one thing that still bothers him is the lack of pride some American have.

"you just walk around and you see a lot of you know Americans that take advantage of what they have here, and its like wow if you only knew, if you only had just a taste of what we experienced."

He wants to encourage anyone who may be experiencing what he did.

MacDaniels says, "of course you are going to be different when you come home, but just leave everything you experienced all the bad just leave it over there and bring the good memories home and that'll keep you right."

He says everyone still needs to support our troops, even though the battle may be coming to an end, solider's need the support system well after the fighting ends.

To honor your someone special who's serving in the military nominate him or her for our "Service Salute" at servicesalute.com.

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