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December 11, 2016
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Iraq: The aftermath; a veteran returns home

Knibbs said he and his veteran friends were fortunate to find their place back home. “I know it’s not like that for everybody,” he conceded. “A lot of people have a really hard time.”

Of his fellow soldiers, Knibbs said they made his stay in Iraq “endurable” and became some of the most important people in his life. “When I was in Iraq I could come home for two weeks, and I had a certain level of anxiety about being away from my friends and the guys in my unit,” said Knibbs. “And I think a big part of me was sort of eager to get back and be with them, not because I liked Iraq, but I didn’t enjoy the separation, being away while they’re still there.”

In July of 2005, when Knibbs got the news that he could come home, he said, “I didn’t react too much to it, because we had gotten extended before… You don’t want to get your hopes up.” But this time it was really happening. He could return home and begin fulfilling his desire to become a social worker.

He is unsure about where his master’s in social work will take him, but he wants to work as a family therapist and eventually with the VA. “What I like about social work is that if you’re available to give somebody support and provide some level of advocacy for them, if they get that support when they need it, it could help them transition and make improvements in their life. I like that idea.” Knibbs said.

Going to war is an experience that only those who are there could fully understand. Knibbs said being at war develops a lifestyle, and that lifestyle stays with you, even after you leave the warzone. Knibbs explained that going to war has “lasting effects” and that “everybody’s different and everybody copes differently.”

It seems for William Knibbs, the way he copes is by helping others.