Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

Author: Institute of Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309264278
Format: PDF, Mobi
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As of December 2012, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq have resulted in the deployment of about 2.2 million troops; there have been 2,222 US fatalities in OEF and Operation New Dawn (OND)1 and 4,422 in OIF. The numbers of wounded US troops exceed 16,000 in Afghanistan and 32,000 in Iraq. In addition to deaths and morbidity, the operations have unforeseen consequences that are yet to be fully understood. In contrast with previous conflicts, the all-volunteer military has experienced numerous deployments of individual service members; has seen increased deployments of women, parents of young children, and reserve and National Guard troops; and in some cases has been subject to longer deployments and shorter times at home between deployments. Numerous reports in the popular press have made the public aware of issues that have pointed to the difficulty of military personnel in readjusting after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of those who have served in OEF and OIF readjust with few difficulties, but others have problems in readjusting to home, reconnecting with family members, finding employment, and returning to school. In response to the return of large numbers of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical-health and mental-health problems and to the growing readjustment needs of active duty service members, veterans, and their family members, Congress included Section 1661 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008. That section required the secretary of defense, in consultation with the secretary of veterans affairs, to enter into an agreement with the National Academies for a study of the physical-health, mental-health, and other readjustment needs of members and former members of the armed forces who were deployed in OIF or OEF, their families, and their communities as a result of such deployment. The study consisted of two phases. The Phase 1 task was to conduct a preliminary assessment. The Phase 2 task was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychologic, social, and economic effects of deployment on and identification of gaps in care for members and former members, their families, and their communities. The Phase 1 report was completed in March 2010 and delivered to the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the relevant committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The secretaries of DOD and VA responded to the Phase 1 report in September 2010. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families fulfills the requirement for Phase 2.

Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

Author: Institute of Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309152853
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Nearly 1.9 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. Many service members and veterans face serious challenges in readjusting to normal life after returning home. This initial book presents findings on the most critical challenges, and lays out the blueprint for the second phase of the study to determine how best to meet the needs of returning troops and their families.

Invisible Wounds of War

Author: Marguerite Guzman Bouvard
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616145544
Format: PDF, Docs
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There’s no real homecoming for many of our veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They may go through the motions of daily life in their hometowns, but the terrible sights and sounds of war are still fresh in their minds. This empathic, inside look into the lives of our combat veterans reveals the lingering impact that the longest wars in our nation’s history continue to have on far too many of our finest young people. Basing her account on numerous interviews with veterans and their families, the author examines the factors that have made these recent conflicts especially trying. A major focus of the book is the extreme duress that is a daily part of a soldier’s life in combat zones with no clear frontlines or perimeters. Having to cope with unrecognizable enemies in the midst of civilian populations and attacks from hidden weapons like improvised explosive devices exacts a heavy toll. Compounding the problem is the all-volunteer nature of our armed forces, which often demands multiple deployments of enlistees. This results in frequent cases of post-traumatic stress disorder and families disrupted by the long absence of one and sometimes both parents. The author also discusses the lack of connectedness between civilian society and military personnel, leading to inadequate healthcare for many veterans. This deficiency has been highlighted by the urgent need to treat traumatic brain injuries in survivors of explosions and the high veteran suicide rate. Bouvard concludes on a positive note by discussing some of the surprising and encouraging ways that the chasm between civilian and military life is being bridged to help reintegrate our returning soldiers. For veterans, their families, and especially for civilians unaware of how much our soldiers have endured, The Invisible Wounds of War is important reading. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Nurses in War

Author: Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, PhD, RN, OCNS
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
ISBN: 0826193846
Format: PDF
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This unique volume presents the experience of 37 U.S. military nurses sent to the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war to care for the injured and dying. The personal and professional challenges they faced, the difficulties they endured, the dangers they overcame, and the consequences they grappled with are vividly described from deployment to discharge. In mobile surgical field hospitals and fast-forward teams, detainee care centers, base and city hospitals, medevac aircraft, and aeromedical staging units, these nurses cared for their patients with compassion, acumen, and inventiveness. And when they returned home, they dealt with their experience as they could. The text is divided into thematic chapters on essential issues: how the nurses separated from their families and the uncertainties they faced in doing so; their response to horrific injuries that combatants, civilians and children suffered; working and living in Iraq and Afghanistan for extended periods; personal health issues; and what it meant to care for enemy insurgents and detainees. Also discussed is how the experience enhanced their clinical skills, why their adjustment to civilian life was so difficult, and how the war changed them as nurses, citizens, and people. Key Features: Describes verbatim the experiences of 37 nurses in two brutal, chaotic theaters of war Offers poignant encounters with patients Includes advice, clarity, and lessons learned about nursing in war Offers a women's health perspective on working and living in a war zone Demonstrates the dedication, expertise, and spirit of military nurses

Operation Homecoming

Author: Andrew Carroll
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588365712
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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“Here is what you will not find in the news–the personal cost of war written as clear and beautiful as literature worthy of the name is. These stories are the real thing, passionate, imaginative, searing.” –Richard Bausch, author of Wives & Lovers The first book of its kind, Operation Homecoming is the result of a major initiative launched by the National Endowment for the Arts to bring distinguished writers to military bases and inspire U.S. Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen and their families to record their wartime experiences. Encouraged by such authors as Tom Clancy, Mark Bowden, Bobbie Ann Mason, Tobias Wolff, Jeff Shaara, and Marilyn Nelson, American military personnel and their loved ones wrote candidly about what they saw, heard, and felt while in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as on the home front. Taken together, these almost one hundred never-before-published eyewitness accounts, private journals, short stories, letters, and other personal writings become a dramatic narrative that shows the human side of warfare. • the fear and exhilaration of heading into battle; • the interactions between U.S. forces and Afghans and Iraqis, both as enemies and friends; • the boredom, gripes, and humorous incidents of day-to-day life on the front lines; • the anxiety and heartache of worried spouses, parents, and other loved ones on the home front; • the sheer brutality of warfare and the physical and emotional toll it takes on those who fight; • the tearful homecomings for those who returned to the States alive– and the somber ceremonies for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. From riveting combat accounts to profound reflections on warfare and the pride these troops feel for one another, Operation Homecoming offers an unflinching and intensely revealing look into the lives of extraordinary men and women. What they have written is without question some of the greatest wartime literature ever published. “Andrew Carroll has given America a priceless treasure.” –Tom Brokaw, on War Letters Proceeds from this book will be used to provide arts and cultural programming to U.S. military communities. For more information, please go to www.OperationHomecoming.gov. From the Hardcover edition.

The Mirror Test

Author: J. Kael Weston
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345806948
Format: PDF, ePub
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A former State Department official draws on a wide range of voices and stories to explore the human costs of conflict, asking hard questions about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Once a Warrior Always a Warrior

Author: Charles Hoge
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 0762762098
Format: PDF, Docs
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The essential handbook for anyone who has ever returned from a war zone, and their spouse, partner, or family members. Being back home can be as difficult, if not more so, than the time spent serving in a combat zone. It's with this truth that Colonel Charles W. Hoge, MD, a leading advocate for eliminating the stigma of mental health care, presents Once a Warrior—Always a Warrior, a groundbreaking resource with essential new insights for anyone who has ever returned home from a war zone. In clear practical language, Dr. Hoge explores the latest knowledge in combat stress, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), mTBI (mild traumatic brain injury), other physiological reactions to war, and their treatment options. Recognizing that warriors and family members both change during deployment, he helps them better understand each other's experience, especially living with enduring survival skills from the combat environment that are often viewed as “symptoms” back home. The heart of this book focuses on what's necessary to successfully navigate the transition—“LANDNAV” for the home front. Once a Warrior—Always a Warrior shows how a warrior's knowledge and skills are vital for living at peace in an insane world.

Fields of Combat

Author: Erin P. Finley
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801461187
Format: PDF, Docs
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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.

Valor

Author: Mark Lee Greenblatt
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1589799534
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Valor features the thrilling stories that are the fruit of Mark Lee Greenblatt’s interviews with brave American servicemen from twenty-first-century wars. These soldiers, sailors, and Marines have risked their lives several times over for their country as well as for their fellow troops and civilians. Still, until now, their stories have largely gone unnoticed by the public, perhaps lost in the frenzied and often nasty debate surrounding those conflicts. As the author writes, “This generation does not have an Audie Murphy. I set out to change that with this book.” Detailing incredible and evocative feats—including an Army pilot who rescued two fellow pilots from a deadly crash in hostile territory and strapped himself to the helicopter’s exterior for the flight to the hospital—Greenblatt provides glimpses into the minds of these men as they face gut-wrenching decisions and overcome enormous odds. However, this book is much more than tales of riveting action. Each chapter goes beyond linear combat stories to explore each hero’s motivations, dreams, and the genuine emotions that were evoked in the face of extreme danger. Readers will be transported to a variety of settings—from close-quarters urban fighting in Iraq to mountainside ambushes in rural Afghanistan to a midnight rescue in the middle of the Atlantic—as they accompany the men who do not see themselves as heroes but as patriots in the line of duty.