I have recently been in touch with a former boyfriend that I haven't seen or talked to in over 20 years. He was in the Army and in combat and just returned from Iraq last February. Believe it or not, I don't happen to closely know anyone in the service (other than relatives who've served in the distant past). We've become in close contact lately and he is planning a visit to come see me. I'm wondering a few things and hoping military folk can help me, although I realize opinions may vary. My main question is: How should I address (or not address) this subject? I am very interested in hearing about his experience in Iraq, and would really value the opportunity to hear about the war firsthand from someone I know, but I don't want to be rude, nosey, upsetting, etc. Is it bad etiquette to ask about it? Is it a painful subject that I should avoid entirely, or would showing interest be a good thing? For those of you who have served, how do you feel about talking about it? Is it annoying when people ask, or are you pleased that they cared to ask? Is there anything I should or shouldn't say? He has made a couple comments on his own that he came close to dying a couple of times, and has also mentioned that he lost friends there. I know he is suffering from PTSD. He offered this, I didn't ask, so he doesn't seem opposed to talking about it, but I'm not sure if I should address it at all during his visit or wait for him to bring it up, if he does. So far, the only thing I have said for the most part was to thank him for his service. I told him that I myself am not brave enough for service, and I am very grateful to him and all who have served to protect my freedoms. He will be visiting soon, and I'm just wondering how to handle it and if it's okay to ask about it or if it's a sensitive subject that I should avoid. I'm sure everyone is different, but I'd like some general input. Thank you!