If someone asks you to do something that you do not feel comfortable with, do not, you have no higher obligation than the one you have to yourself. You will not be able to meet the needs of others if you do not take care of yourself first, even if it seems that others needs may outweigh yours. In combat we had to learn how to take care of everyone at the cost of ourselves if need be, today here in civilization this can no longer be, as this world does not work in the way of a brotherhood born of blood.
Most do not understand that a person with PTSD, through no choice of their own has to deal with phantoms of their past encroaching upon every consideration and choice we make. Some more so than others to the point of crippling indecision that can trigger dissociative states, emotional numbing, anger and even possible blind rage. If someone thinks that asking us about our war experiences to get to know us has no consequences other than polite conversation, then they do not see us at all.
We can think about nothing more, than what we experinced, saw and lost, we think greatly on the person who we used to be and want nothing more than to have that person back. We want to speak freely again of the things we used to dream about, but we have lost that part of us to. We consider ourselves to be the lucky ones who have somehow learned to suppress that part of the night, where the unlucky of us find the terrors of the dark as they can no longer fight these enemies who have no feel or flight.
The next time you consider addressing a soldier or veteran about their combat experiences, or asking them if they killed anyone, or what it was like over there, consider what you just read. We all need to maintain and respect proper boundaries. No need to feel intimidated either, if you feel the need to say something tell them this: