- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (AP) - Three Argentine veterans who fought in the 1982 Falklands War against Great Britain are making their first trip back to the islands this weekend to run a marathon.

The three men, who will compete Sunday on the South Atlantic Ocean island archipelago, told leading Argentine newspaper Clarin they are preparing to confront more than just the physical challenge.

“There are wounds that don’t heal. The memories (of the war) are still fresh, and only in 2001 was I able to pull myself together,” 47-year-old Marcelo Vallejo said in comments published Friday.

“I suffered 18 years drowning in an inferno of depression, alcohol and drugs. I hit bottom,” he added.

Many Argentine war veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and have led tumultuous lives since the 1982 war, which was sparked when the country’s military junta launched an ill-fated invasion.

The 73-day conflict claimed the lives of 649 Argentines and 258 Britons.

British control of the islands is still a sensitive topic in Argentina, which calls them the Malvinas and says it is the rightful owner.

Veterans German Estrada and Esteban Pino, who published a book on their war experiences in 2007, also plan to run in the marathon.

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