Although her job isn't to fight in combat, Stacy says she's been forever changed by what she's seen through her lens. "I'm still dealing with the issues of the possibility of having taken somebody's life or seeing other lives taken," she says. "It changes you, and you become somebody else when you're there. It's a defense mechanism."
Returning to regular life hasn't been easy, Stacy says. Even though her husband is also in the military, she finds it difficult to share her experiences with him. "It's still hard to articulate the things that you've been through, especially things that are so complicated," she says. "There's so many things he doesn't know that happened out there yet that I'm still working through to be able to share with him."
Stacy says no one who goes into battle comes back the same and urges the families of returning soldiers to be patient. "Like myself, I'm sure it's the same for other soldiers, just to have that support and that guidance and maybe a step in the right direction, whether it's counseling or just, 'Hey, whenever you want to talk, I'm here,'" she says.