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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding makes it a little less difficult, 27 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming (Paperback)
I was born after Vietnam, and I am British, but this book is directly relevant to my experience in returning from Afghanistan, and it helps. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how they feel and how those close to them feel on return from that or any other war (even if we're not supposed to call it that- HiCOIN, or whatever they're calling it at the moment, is a ridiculous concept when you see the reality).

Both this and Achilles in Vietnam need to be read with care - go slowly and look after yourself, as Jonathan Shay (the actual author- John McCain only co-wrote the foreword) warns in Achilles in Vietnam. But this one is easier to read (and by that I mean it is not so overwhelming) and lets you understand more of what is going on in your head now as opposed to what caused it.

So read it if you've been to one of the dusty places. Read it if you've been somewhere else, or lots of places. Although it's very clearly Vietnam-centred, it is directly relevant to how you feel now. And note the bits that talk about how one of the characteristics of the effects of combat trauma is that we all think our own experience was less bad than the next man's. But when you think about it, when you talk to someone who's been in contact, they know what you mean, and when you talk to someone who hasn't they don't have a * clue. This book is about the way people who know what you mean feel when they get back (and years afterwards), and how to deal with what that means for you.

And if you are close to someone who lives with it, read it too. It will help you help them and help them come back to you.

So read it. And get your oppos/mates or whatever you call your friends to read it too. You never know, you could just help them come back, or at the very least admit that they need to.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Returning Veterans, 7 Oct 2007
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Richard Lamm "ANNGWYN ST. JUST" (Sedona, AZ) - See all my reviews
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Those of us who live and work with war trauma know that, for many, the Vietnam war is not over. Jonathan Shay writes," The Vietnam veterans that I have worked with were treated shabbily by both the political right - who scorned them as 'losers'...and by the political left, who held them responsible for everything vile or wrongheaded that led us into the war, or came out of the war."
I experienced a similar situation in my work with Russian veterans of their war in Afghanistan. Dr. Shay provides his readers with valuable insights into the multiple challenges facing soldiers returning from a controversial war.This book is a must read for those who care about the mental and physical health and well being of our returning veterans.

Anngwyn St.Just Ph.D. Director of the Arizona Center for Social Trauma and author of "Relative Balance in an Unstable World: The Search for New Models for Trauma Education and Recovery" (2006 Carl-Auer-Verlag)
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Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming
Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming by Jonathan Shay (Paperback - 1 Dec 2003)
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