National Guard and Reservists who have been in combat are more likely to develop drinking problems after they complete their active duty stint. A new study compared Afghanistan veterans before they entered service and after as part of a Pentagon effort to gain greater understanding of what happens to those in combat once returned to civilian life. The report fund more than 600 combat troops reported no binge drinking before going into combat but they developed such drinking issues once out of a combat experience. New patterns of regular heavy drinking emerged in the National Guard and reservist combat veterans.
A major factor is remembering what it was like being in combat. The heavy stress of dealing with guerrilla warfare can be debilitating since one must constantly be alert and there is no finality to a combat encounter.