Soldiers who come back from war often face a number of obstacles, and one vet found a unique way to overcome them. Christian Ellis, who served in Iraq, turned to opera singing as a way to soothe his mental anguish, and recently debuted his own opera based on his experience in the war, according to The Associated Press.

Titled "Fallujah," the performance is believed to be the first opera centered around the Iraq War. It debuted earlier this week on the internet and features the contributions of nine actors and an 11-piece orchestra. While opera may seem like an unusual way to ease the transition to civilian life, for Ellis, singing has turned into a kind of therapy.

"When I sing, it's like this identity that I've been looking for comes out and takes over," he told the AP. "I honestly forget my fears. I forget my guilt, my regrets, the pain, the betrayal, the struggles. A lot of times I'll sing until I can't sing anymore because I enjoy it so much."

The release of Ellis' opera comes after a number of calls for a renewed focus on the mental health of soldiers after they leave the war zone. Among the advocates is Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who believes the military should do more to remove the stigma often attached to seeking professional help.