Welcome back to The Wounded Warrior Experience. Today we have a package of my stories, interviewing former soldiers who are going through a psychological adjustment after coming home. There are other stories, too, and I’ll be back in January with a special feature called This November…
Our first story focuses on a new book by David Smith, “Decompression” that collects interviews with thirty former soldiers, including Iraq war veterans from Nellis, Ft. Lewis and Mississippi who joined the Air Force right after 9/11.
Dr. Barry Degory, former chief of staff at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, wrote the foreword and in the book says, “this is the story of our people who pulled together in an extraordinary manner to use music, art, and poetry to portray our loved ones who had been killed, wounded or returned injured.”
Veterans use the military’s assistance to cope with trauma for the first year after coming home. The problem is that the process is followed by a process called reintegration, that only makes the problem worse. Even if soldiers don’t have a job, they still have the same stresses of people returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many vets end up buried in the same dysfunctional patterns of thinking and behavior that they had before their deployment.
The book’s authors hope the stories will help redefine mental-health care for veterans. And the book can help them too.
For more Wounded Warrior stories and profiles go to This November by clicking this link. You can email our correspondent Rachel Zoll at [email protected]