Freedom Fighters: Trindi Collins - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Trindi Collins

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Trindi Collins racked up a number of challenge points for her excellent service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Her dad had been career Army, so military life was a lifestyle that Trindi was used to and liked.

"I loved the military life growing up, at least until my father got out."

So Trindi joined the Army in 2004, and in 2008 her entire brigade was deployed to Iraq.

In Iraq, Trindi found some of the biggest challenges to be the 140-degree temperatures and the sand storms of the Middle East desert.

"When we went to Iraq we knew we got back in the states we would only be back a year before we went to Afghanistan."

Trindi was sent to Afghanistan in 2010 and she says it was definitely different from Iraq.

"We worked more closely with the third party nationals which would be the local people."

Trindi says with so many nationals on base it wasn't always easy to tell who was friend and who was foe. So it was mandatory to be armed at all times.

"We would get mortared a couple of time a week. I was there for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and we got mortared, I think, 10 times that night."

Even though Trindi was never wounded, she returned home with invisible scars so common among soldiers. Sudden sounds and crowded places can still cut into her sleeping time.

"It's dreams of war, it's dreams of combat, of people getting killed, planes crashing, of mortar fire going off.

PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has become a common problem of our returning service men and women.

"When I was in Afghanistan is where I developed it, with us getting mortared so many times I started having bad dreams, very vivid, I can describe it to this day."

Trindi sought professional help for her PTSD, something she advises all military people to do.

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