Brig. General Gary S. Patton and Gen. Carter Ham have both sought counseling for the emotional trauma of their time in the Iraq war.
"One of our soldiers in that unit, Spec. Robert Unruh, took a gunshot wound to the torso, I was involved in medevacing him off the battlefield. And in a short period of time, he died before my eyes," Patton told CNN in an exclusive interview. "That's a memory [that] will stay with me the rest of my life."
Ham was the commander in Mosul when a suicide bomber blew up a mess tent. Twenty-two people died.
"The 21st of December, 2004, worst day of my life. Ever," Ham said. "To this day I still ask myself what should I have done differently, what could I have done as the commander responsible that would have perhaps saved the lives of those soldiers, sailors, civilians."
Both generals have been back from Iraq for years, but still deal with some of the symptoms of the stress they experienced.