I do not think we always consider the complex ways that war affects people and families. Brothers does an excellent job of conveying this. Tobey Maguire's character was strong; he had every aspect of his life together. Yet his war experience, granted it was extreme, totally broke him down. Even though he worked through the really intense part of his healing, he was left wondering if it was possible to rebuild his life. No matter how strong we are, we are vulnerable to such trauma.
The effects on his family was huge including his brother, wife, two daughters, and father. The dynamics in his family are profound and complex.
He likely would not have survived if his brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) and wife (Natalie Portman) were not so strong and supportive. I wonder what happens to the veterans that are not as strong as his character, and did not have such strong and caring family members.
As a statistic, Tobey Maguire's character lived. But his life and the lives of his family will never be the same. Hundreds of thousands of lives are affected in so many ways when veterans return home.