November 11, 2007 7:00 AM

Haunted by Iraq, a sergeant struggles

Nearly four years ago, Sergeant First Class Chad Stephens, a N.C. National Guard platoon sergeant, stood in an Army classroom facing the families of the 40 men he was about to lead into war. In the confident voice familiar to his men, he made a promise: I'll bring your sons home. Even then, Stephens knew he was lying.

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