Photos by Brandon Quester for the Public Insight Network | Production by Meg Martin & Samara Freemark
Kyle Dubay, 28, was diagnosed with PTSD after his second of three tours as a combat medic in Iraq.
Coming home after his final deployment was rough. The anger, stress and frustration he felt as he tried to process his time in the Army left bad decisions, broken relationships and isolation in their wake.
Eventually he found help, in the form of therapy and a mixed martial arts club in Mesa, Ariz.
That’s where he met Amanda Sonday, 24.
As Amanda and Kyle tell it, they’re good for each other. They look out for each other. They love each other. Only his brother knows him as well as Amanda, Kyle says. But after years of losing friends — to combat, injury, reassignments, deployments and, later, conflict — Kyle’s having a tough time with commitment. He broke off their relationship when it got too serious.
“I’ve never had anyone be better to me,” Kyle says. “And I still push her out.”
But Amanda just won’t leave. She cares too much: “My mind is telling me, ‘Amanda, just walk away … but I just can’t walk away from it.”
Editor’s note (Nov. 21, 2012): The original version of this story misstated the location of the Arizona mixed martial arts club. The story has been updated.