A gripping account of PTSD, and a stark reminder that, for many, wars go on long after the last shot is fired.
In the shadows of army life is a world where friends become monsters, where kindness twists into assault, and where self-loathing and despair become constant companions. Whether you know it by old names like soldier s heart, shell shock, or combat fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder has left deep and silent wounds throughout history in the ranks of fighting forces.
Among the Walking Wounded tells one veteran s experience of PTSD through an intimate personal account, as visceral as it is blunt. In a courageous story of descent and triumph, it tackles the stigma of PTSD head-on and brings an enduring message of struggle and hope for wounded Canadian veterans. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about Canadian veterans and the dark war they face long after their combat service is ended.”
I was glad Colonel John Conrad included a list of terms and abbreviations at the very beginning of his book because it really helped provide a more thorough understanding of the story he was trying to tell. The Foreword by his wife is incredibly moving and provides a unique insight into military life as well as the story that needs to be told and remembered so that soldiers from all walks of life and countries can receive the honor they deserve.
This is not just a non-fiction textbook on military life to read with a passing fancy. It’s a love letter to all of those who love humanity so much they willingly sacrifice their lives – and mental health – for us. Conrad writes with a passion and beauty that can only come from someone who took that oath to protect millions of people.
The personal accounts of what we ask men and women in uniform to do is heartbreaking and the fact that they wake up every day choosing to uphold our safety no matter where that promise takes them is uplifting. Conrad doesn’t just provide stories, he shows you the faces of the millions who form an unbreakable wall between our way of life and danger.
He describes not just the people but also military events, the explosions, the blood that haunt their nightmares so we may sleep peacefully. Not only do they put their physical lives on the line but they also give up their mental ones; risking the possibility they may never again hold the phrase “sweet dreams” to be true because for them the war did not end when they got on the plane ride back home.
This is a book that MUST be read and absorbed because the cost our society pays is nothing compared to what our soldiers have been forced to give up. We owe them, all of them whether they are in your country or in an allies. Conrad’s focus is on Canada’s soldiers in this book but the lessons are true across global lines. PTSD does not discriminate against culture, race, gender or political boundaries.
Conrad’s writing will evoke anger, tears and pride from anyone who gives him a chance to tell his story.
When you are done reading this, go thank a soldier. You’re alive and have the life you do because of them.
Thank you to Netgalley and Dundurn for allowing me to review this book.
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com
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