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Book details
  • Genre:SELF-HELP
  • SubGenre:Self-Management / Stress Management
  • Language:English
  • Pages:444
  • eBook ISBN:9781892220127

Recovering from the War

A Guide for All Veterans, Family Members, Friends, and Therapists

by Patience H. C. Mason

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Recovering from the War is the book the author wishes she had had when her husband came home from war. Part One is about war with questions about how the reader would deal with similar situations. Part Two is about the aftereffects of war including the differences between fighting insurgents and classical warfare, what PTSD is, and how that affects families. The third part is about recovery with concrete suggestions and further resources..
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.
About the author
I was born in 1943, daughter of John J. Cincotti, MD and Constance Hartwell, MD. My Dad went overseas a month after I was born. I remember being dressed up and running down the sidewalk to meet him when he came home in 1945. I went to the the University of Pennsylvania, dropped out of school and got married and moved to Florida. My husband, Robert Mason went into the Army rather than get drafted to learn to fly helicopters. We had a month after he graduated from flight school, and then he went to Vietnam on a boat, the start of Americans fighting the Vietnam War. He spent the second year of our marriage (1965-66) flying a Huey slick in the First Cavalry Division and the 48th Aviation Company in Vietnam. His book, Chickenhawk, tells the story of that year. When he got back, I saw how skinny he was, but I was so glad to have him back, I didn't notice the thousand yard stare. I had no idea what he had been through. I was just so glad he was alive. Neither of us had any idea that the war was, quite naturally and normally, going to affect both of us for the rest of our lives. We didn't know any of what you will read on my site (http://www.patiencepress.com) or in my books and pamphlets. They told Bob he would be fine in a few weeks. When he wasn't, he thought he was nuts. Bob's memoirs, Chickenhawk and Chickenhawk: Back In The World and my book, Recovering from the War, describe how we lived with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder when it didn't have a name and wasn't supposed to exist. We lived with PTSD for 14 years during which I thought I was a bad wife, or he would not be having problems. Quite often he agreed. He also thought he was crazy. I couldn't make him happy even though I thought I should be able to. We did not associate any of it with Vietnam. Our life was difficult until we found out about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We still deal with it, but today our dealings are informed, which makes things easier. We are up to 47 years of marriage now and are really happy. I give talks about PTSD at VA's, Vet Centers, reunions and any place I can. I've written two books for children about PTSD, several pamphlets that VA's use for patient education, and for seven years I wrote The Post-Traumatic Gazette.