Processing the aftermath of war on a person’s psyche and soul is a complicated subject. Probably one of the biggest societal shifts the Global War on Terror has brought is our understanding and recognition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other combat-related conditions.

Everyone can recall those old veterans, be they from WWII, Korea, and increasingly from Vietnam, who “just didn’t talk about” their wartime service. Contrast that now with the abundance of veterans who openly share their experiences and the effects combat has had on them. Despite the monumental shift in how we talk about the psychological toll combat takes, many veterans still struggle with coping and finding resolution to their experiences. Many veterans have no idea their psychological health can be affected years after the fact, with unresolved feelings and memories lying dormant, until they manifest themselves in unforeseen ways. Another complicating factor is that every veteran’s experience, and their reaction and processing, is completely unique to them. There’s no cookie cutter solution for everyone.

A report from the Asssociated Press this week told the story of a Marine WWII veteran named Marvin Strombo. In 1944, fighting at the Battle of Saipan, Strombo came across a dead Japanese soldier with a piece of cloth protruding from his uniform. Pulling at the cloth, he discovered it was a hinomaru yosegaki—a good luck flag—and pocketed it as a souvenir.

The flags were very popular for Japanese servicemembers during World War II. They typically contained ornate calligraphy and signatures from dozens of the soldiers’ family and friends, wishing them well as they went off to fight. You can easily find dozens of photos of American Marines posing with the captured flags, a symbol of victory over their enemy.