What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars

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Winner of the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wood, a battlefield view of moral injury, the signature wound of America's 21st century wars.

Most Americans are now familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its prevalence among troops. In this groundbreaking new book, David Wood examines the far more pervasive yet less understood experience of those we send to war: moral injury, the violation of our fundamental values of right and wrong that so often occurs in the impossible moral dilemmas of modern conflict. Featuring portraits of combat veterans and leading mental health researchers, along with Wood's personal observations of war and the young Americans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, WHAT HAVE WE DONE offers an unflinching look at war and those who volunteer for it: the thrill and pride of service and, too often, the scars of moral injury.

Impeccably researched and deeply personal, WHAT HAVE WE DONE is a compassionate, finely drawn study of modern war and those caught up in it. It is a call to acknowledge our newest generation of veterans by listening intently to them and absorbing their stories; and, as new wars approach, to ponder the inevitable human costs of putting American "boots on the ground."
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About the author

David Wood, a veteran war reporter, is a staff correspondent for the Huffington Post, where he won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting on severely wounded warriors. A birthright Quaker and raised as a pacifist, Wood has spent more than thirty years covering the U.S. military and conflicts around the world, most recently in extended deployments embedded with American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Nov 1, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780316264143
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Iraq War (2003-2011)
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Psychology / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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War Trauma draws on the experience of prior wars for valuable insights to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with todays realities of combat and its aftermath -- which so often entails PTSD (post-traumatic stresss syndrome), depression and the risk of suicide. This is part three in A Vietnam Trilogy, which studies the psychiatric impact of war on soldiers and veterans, and their families. The effects go on for decades after the violence occurred, and we are still just learning to understand the depth and variety of problems it can cause. Further, Scurfield documents his proven innovative therapies for treating PTSD. This third volume looks at what military and mental health professionals -- and the Veterans Administration (VA) -- should have learned from the Vietnam War in order to better protect American servicemen and servicewomen in later conflicts and to help them recover afterwards. The Persian Gulf War, for instance, had an immense impact on veterans of all wars. The author was a national faculty member for joint VA-DOD training programs to enhance mental health response readiness for receiving anticipated medical and psychiatric casualties from the Persian Gulf War. What he found was a resurgence of selective amnesia and denial about the true impact of war. Scurfield notes, "Chillingly, what happened in Vietnam in 1968--69 regarding psychiatric casualties has enormous parallels to what is happening today regarding U.S. psychiatric casualties from the Iraq War."
For many of the 1.6 million U.S. service members who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, the trip home is only the beginning of a longer journey. Many undergo an awkward period of readjustment to civilian life after long deployments. Some veterans may find themselves drinking too much, unable to sleep or waking from unspeakable dreams, lashing out at friends and loved ones. Over time, some will struggle so profoundly that they eventually are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD).

Both heartbreaking and hopeful, Fields of Combat tells the story of how American veterans and their families navigate the return home. Following a group of veterans and their their personal stories of war, trauma, and recovery, Erin P. Finley illustrates the devastating impact PTSD can have on veterans and their families. Finley sensitively explores issues of substance abuse, failed relationships, domestic violence, and even suicide and also challenges popular ideas of PTSD as incurable and permanently debilitating.

Drawing on rich, often searing ethnographic material, Finley examines the cultural, political, and historical influences that shape individual experiences of PTSD and how its sufferers are perceived by the military, medical personnel, and society at large. Despite widespread media coverage and public controversy over the military's response to wounded and traumatized service members, debate continues over how best to provide treatment and compensation for service-related disabilities. Meanwhile, new and highly effective treatments are revolutionizing how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides trauma care, redefining the way PTSD itself is understood in the process. Carefully and compassionately untangling each of these conflicts, Fields of Combat reveals the very real implications they have for veterans living with PTSD and offers recommendations to improve how we care for this vulnerable but resilient population.

War touches us all—leaving visible and invisible wounds on the warriors who fight, disrupting their families and communities, and leaving lasting imprints on our national psyche. In spite of billions spent on psychological care and reintegration programs, we face an epidemic of combat-related conditions such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). With Warrior’s Return, Dr. Edward Tick presents a powerful case for changing the way we welcome our veterans back from service—a vision and a path for transforming the wounds of war into sources of wisdom, honor, and growth.

After more than 35 years of working with veterans, Dr. Tick has learned that our conventional ways of addressing the trauma and woundings of war fall far short, usually focusing only on symptoms and temporary relief. Drawing on lessons from cross-cultural wisdom, mythical archetypes, and proven methods from psychology, he offers this book as a valuable resource to help families, caregivers, and returning veterans understand and cope with the life-changing effects of combat, including:

Re-examining PTSD—why we must expand our understanding of the full psychological and spiritual impact of war’s invisible woundsArchetype of the warrior—service in combat as a “journey to the underworld,” and why the return home is the most crucial stageThe warrior’s path—timeless wisdom from tradition, classical philosophy, great leaders, and religious and mythological sourcesHow cultures around the world have welcomed home their returning warriors for centuries—and what we can learn from themThe warrior’s initiation—how the old self dies on the battlefield and a new, more mature self evolves in its placeRestoration—methods for overcoming disillusionment and soul-fatigue to restore the warrior’s sense of purpose, motivation, and connectionComing home—specific steps for reintegrating our warriors back into our families and communities Honor—how a warrior can retain personal integrity and self-respect even when they have participated in a war they don’t believe inForgiveness, reconciliation, and atonement—ways for warriors to close the circle and begin healing what was destroyed

“This is not a hopeless situation,” states Dr. Tick. “Lifelong suffering after war is not inevitable if we understand war’s impact on the heart and soul, both for ourselves and our culture.” For veterans and those who wish to support them, Warrior’s Return offers step-by-step guidance for initiating our transformed warriors into valued members of our community—with an essential map for the hero’s journey home.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Soldier’s Heart. Visit soldiersheart.net.

 Looking for a modern-day version of Indiana Jones? Dane Maddock is your man! This box set includes the first three books in the Dane Maddock Adventures series plus a bonus story.

DOURADO

A sunken treasure. An ancient Biblical artifact. A mystery as old as humankind.

In 1829, the Portuguese brig Dourado sank off the coast of Indonesia, losing its cargo of priceless treasures from the Holy Land. One of these lost relics holds the key to an ancient mystery. But someone does not want this treasure to come to light. When her father is murdered while searching for the Dourado, Kaylin Maxwell hires treasure hunter and former Navy Seal Dane Maddock and his partner Uriah “Bones” Bonebrake, to locate the wreckage and recover a lost Biblical artifact, the truth behind which could call into question the fundamentally held truths of human existence. Join Maddock and Bones on a perilous adventure that carries them from the depths of the Pacific to ancient cities of stone as they unravel the mystery of the Dourado.

CIBOLA

Dane Maddock returns in another unforgettable adventure! When Maddock rescues beautiful archaeologist Jade Ihara, he joins her on asearch for the legendary Seven Cities of Cibola. Cibola takes the reader on a journey across the American southwest, where the ruins of the mysterious Anasazi hide deadly secrets, and foes lurk around every corner. Maddock and his partner "Bones" Bonebrake must decipher clues from the fabled Copper Scroll, outwit their enemies, and be the first to unlock the secret of Cibola.

QUEST

Dane Maddock is back. Deep in the Amazon, a university group encounters a horror beyond their darkest nightmares and vanishes without a trace. Called upon to undertake a daring rescue mission, Maddock and Bones must trace the true path of Percy Fawcett's final expedition, but the secret that lies at the end of the search might be even deadlier than the enemies who seek it. From the streets of London to remote islands in the Atlantic, to the deadly jungles of the Amazon, Maddock and Bones must penetrate a secret lost to history, on their deadliest Quest.

AZTLAN

In a remote area of the American Southwest Dane and Bones stumble upon a place out of legend that changes their world.

PRAISE FOR DAVID WOOD AND THE DANE MADDOCK ADVENTURES!

A great read that provides lots of action, and thoughtful insight as well, into strange realms that are sometimes best left unexplored." Paul Kemprecos, author of Cool Blue Tomb and the NUMA Files

"Dane and Bones.... Together they're unstoppable. Rip roaring action from start to finish. Wit and humor throughout. Just one question - how soon until the next one? Because I can't wait."

Graham Brown, author of Shadows of the Midnight Sun

“David Wood has done it again. Quest takes you on an expedition that leads down a trail of adventure and thrills. David Wood has honed his craft and Quest is proof of his efforts!”

David L. Golemon, Author of the Event Group series

“Ancient cave paintings? Cities of gold? Secret scrolls? Sign me up! A twisty tale of adventure and intrigue that never lets up and never lets go!”

--Robert Masello, author of The Medusa Amulet

“A non-stop thrill ride triple threat- smart, funny and mysterious!”

Jeremy Robinson, author of Instinct and Threshold

“Let there be no confusion: David Wood is the next Clive Cussler.

Edward G. Talbot, author of 2010: The Fifth World
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