1.) And as slippery as all that is, even less understood is the collateral damage, to families, to schools, to society—emotional and fiscal costs borne long after the war is over.

-the word ‘slippery’ indicates the difficulty of having PTSD goes beyond the surface and is way deeper.

-the claim states that PTSD affects more than just the person who goes to war.

-people with PTSD have emotional trauma that follows them even after the war.

2.)You can hear the cat padding around. The air conditioner whooshes, a clock ticks.

-this claim is used to emphasize the quietness of the house.

-a house with living people should not be this quiet, but the claim expresses the severity of their situation.

3.) This PTSD picture is worse than some, but much better, Brannan knows, than those that have devolved into drug addiction and rehab stints and relapses.

-the claim acknowledges that they do not have the best situation, but also not the worst one.

-the couple would rather go through the agitation and stress than be drug addicts

-seems unethical for the author to write this because someone who is a drug addict may think it is better than Brannan’s living situation.

-personal opinion. no factual evidence to support that this is better than being a drug addict.

4.) They don’t know exactly why it comes to him in dreams, and why especially that time he picked up the pieces of Baghdad bombing victims and that lady who appeared to have thrown herself on top of her child to save him only to find the child dead underneath torments him when he’s sleeping, and sometimes awake. 

-he is haunted by the scene of watching a mother try and save her child but fail

-he could feel guilty about not being able to save the child and that is why he feels tormented

-picking up the pieces of bombing victims would be a sight none of us would be able to forget

-getting flashbacks of it while being awake somewhere could be extremely frightening to the people around him who may not know of his condition.

5.) Brannan and Katie’s teacher have conferenced about Katie’s behavior many times. Brannan’s not surprised she’s picked up overreacting and yelling—you don’t have to be at the Vines residence for too long to hear Caleb hollering from his room, where he sometimes hides for 18, 20 hours at a time, and certainly not if you’re there during his nightmares, which Katie is.

– the teacher is concerned about the daughter’s behavior and feels the need to speak to the parents

-katie of course picked up her dad’s behavior since she is around him all the time

-caleb screaming and hiding for 18-20 hours around katie has to have an affect on her behavior.

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