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Iraq war hero, PTSD sufferer found dead

PINEHURST, N.C., July 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. solider hailed as an Iraq war hero died last month after battling substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army Times reported Tuesday.

The newspaper said empty bottles of prescription medication were found near the body of U.S. Army Pfc. Joseph "Doc" Dwyer when police entered his Pinehurst, N.C., home June 28. Dwyer was immortalized in 2003 when a photo of him carrying an Iraqi child from crossfire was published on the cover of Military Times but his life spiraled downhill upon his return to the United States, the Army Times said.

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Dwyer enlisted in the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, getting married just before leaving for Iraq. When he returned after three months, he exhibited the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder but didn't seek help, the Army Times said. He stayed away from friends and abused inhalants, and was committed to a psychiatric ward at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, after a 2005 police run-in.

On the day he died, Pinehurst police broke down his door and found him dead.

"Of course he was looked on as a hero here," Capt. Floyd Thomas of the Pinehurst Police Department told the Army Times.

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