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Synopsis

Recovering from the War is a systematic investigation of the costs of war for veterans and their families, including information on how to recover from combat trauma. The examples are from Vietnam, but the experience is universal, so the book is helpful to active duty service members. Part One, Vietnam: What it was, consists of a series of chapters containing interviews with Vietnam veterans: Who Went, In the Rear, In the Pipeline and Forward Bases, Going Forth: Aviation and Mechanized Combat, In the Field, and Back in the World. Each chapter covers one type of Vietnam experience, followed by questions to help the reader understand what veterans go through. The details are from Vietnam but the experiences are universal, applicable to any war where the enemy can't be easily identified and anyone can kill you.  Part Two, The Aftereffects, begins with "What's So Different About Vietnam", a guerilla war with no front line and no way to identify the enemy, conditions which apply to Iraq and Afghanistan. The next chapter, "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,"  contains a clear discussion of the symptoms of PTSD along with suggestions for beginning to get help. "Our Problems" finishes the section and discusses how PTSD impacts the family.  Part Three, Help Yourself has three chapters, First Aid, Listening, and Changing. These are designed to put your feet on the path that will lead to your recovery, whether you are a family member, friend or veteran. They contain a lot of personal experiences. There is a list of sources, suggested further reading, other sources of help, guidelines for a 12 step group for families of veterans and an index.

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