Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

Author: Institute of Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309152853
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan

Author: Institute of Medicine
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309264278
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Invisible Wounds of War

Author: Marguerite Guzman Bouvard
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616145544
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Operation Homecoming

Author: Andrew Carroll
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226094995
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A compilation of letters, poems, memoirs, journals, e-mails, and stories offers a firsthand account of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq from the perspective of the soldiers who participated and the family members left at home.

The Mirror Test

Author: J. Kael Weston
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0345806948
Format: PDF
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A New York Times Editors' Choice A powerfully written firsthand account of the human costs of conflict. J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, while traveling the country to pay respect to the dead and wounded, he asked himself- When will these wars end? How will they be remembered and memorialized? What lessons can we learn from them? These are questions with no quick answers, but perhaps ones that might lead to a shared reckoning worthy of the sacrifices of those-troops and civilians alike-whose lives have been changed by more than a decade and a half of war. Weston takes us from Twentynine Palms in California to Fallujah in Iraq, Khost and Helmand in Afghanistan, Maryland, Colorado, Wyoming, and New York City, as well as to out-of-the-way places in Iowa and Texas. We meet generals, corporals and captains, senators and ambassadors, NATO allies, Iraqi truck drivers, city councils, imams and mullahs, Afghan schoolteachers, madrassa and college students, former Taliban fighters and ex-GuantBnamo prison detainees, a torture victim, SEAL and Delta Force teams, and many Marines. The overall frame for the book, from which the title is taken, centers on soldiers who have received a grievous wound to the face. There is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as othe mirror test.o From an intricate tapestry of voices and stories-Iraqi, Afghan, and American-Weston delivers a larger mirror test for our nation in its global role. An unflinching and deep examination of the interplay between warfare and diplomacy, this is an essential book-a crucial look at America now, how it is viewed in the world and how the nation views itself. From the Hardcover edition.

Thank You for Your Service

Author: David Finkel
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
ISBN: 0374710961
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Now a Major Motion Picture Directed by American Sniper Writer Jason Hall and Starring Miles Teller The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology of these wars as intimately as the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Finkel. For The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel embedded with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the infamous "surge," a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed them all forever. In Finkel's hands, readers can feel what these young men were experiencing, and his harrowing story instantly became a classic in the literature of modern war. In Thank You for Your Service, Finkel has done something even more extraordinary. Once again, he has embedded with some of the men of the 2-16—but this time he has done it at home, here in the States, after their deployments have ended. He is with them in their most intimate, painful, and hopeful moments as they try to recover, and in doing so, he creates an indelible, essential portrait of what life after war is like—not just for these soldiers, but for their wives, widows, children, and friends, and for the professionals who are truly trying, and to a great degree failing, to undo the damage that has been done. The story Finkel tells is mesmerizing, impossible to put down. With his unparalleled ability to report a story, he climbs into the hearts and minds of those he writes about. Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding, and it offers a more complete picture than we have ever had of these two essential questions: When we ask young men and women to go to war, what are we asking of them? And when they return, what are we thanking them for? One of Publishers Weekly's Best Nonfiction Books of 2013 One of The Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year A New York Times Notable Book of 2013 An NPR Best Book of 2013 A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

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

Fields of Combat

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

The Long Walk

Author: Brian Castner
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307950875
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A memoir by a bomb-disposal veteran of the Iraq War traces his three tours of duty in the Middle East and his team's daily life-threatening efforts to stop roadside bombers, sharing additional coverage of the challenges he faced while reacclimating to civilian life. 75,000 first printing.