The initial stages of B.D.'s recovery from losing a leg in Iraq were dramatically portrayed in The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time, but his healing journey was far from over. As this powerful sequel shows, the "war within" can be a long and lonely struggle, hardly the life of a "glamorous amputee" imagined by his daughter's jealous classmate. With his coaching job at Walden re-secured and the marathon PT sessions paying off, B.D.'s return to normalcy seems to be progressing well. But those who love him see alarming signs of trouble, namely anger and alcohol.
First there's the punching of an MP. Then there's the daily breakfast of beer, a subject not open for discussion even with a best-intentioned friend like Mike Doonesbury. And "the screaming at night isn't very Christmassy," Boopsie notes. As B.D. admits to his doctor, "I'd rather sleep with my weapon than my wife! How messed up is that?" Messed up enough that our wounded warrior forces himself to begin circling the local Vet Center, where he is gently and skillfully reeled in by a remarkable counselor and fellow Vietnam Vet named Elias. Their sessions together form an extraordinary and moving chronicle of catharsis and coming-to-terms. The words "Welcome home, soldier," are powerful and transformative, and B.D. is fortunate in finally getting to a place where he can hear them.
In this illustrated conversation between Samuel C. Williams and his friend, Matt, they talk candidly about Matt's struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. From scoping out quick exits in coffee shops to re-experiencing traumatic events through triggers as seemingly insignificant as a sound or smell, Matt describes his unique experiences of the condition, how he has learnt to cope with it, and his new career path. This comic will offer support and understanding to anyone who has been affected by PTSD no matter what the cause.