As in years past this week we’ll be sharing the books that will be enlivening our summer. As the only creatures on earth who can get our read on, shouldn’t we then put our skills to good use, bad use, any use at all? Let’s read the banned books, the ones your parents said were for their eyes only, the confusing wordy ones, the cheap 50 cents ones — they are all brain food.
I’ve said in previous posts that I recently started volunteering at the VA – that’s Veterans Administration – and I felt a little unprepared. So I began researching. Reading. Being around veterans it’s smart to know about PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, polytrauma, spinal injuries, mental illnesses and good old human nature in general. I read Charles W. Hoge’s Once a Warrior Always a Warrior, a very good text on dealing with PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury. It was eye-opening.
And then I read The Evil Hours: A Biography of PTSD by David J. Morris, who shares what happened while he was over in Iraq, and then when he was back home, dealing with the VA in San Diego for counseling for PTSD. If you have ever wondered what the heck PTSD was all about, and why there’s so much chatter in the media about it, this book will be your guide.
Since the only thing I knew about the war in Vietnam was basically nothing at all, I followed Mr. Morris’s reference guide and borrowed Home to War: A History of the Vietnam Veterans’ Movement by Gerald Nicosia. At 626 pages this tome is going to be my summer read. I’m hoping to be fully illuminated about how American society treated returning Vietnam veterans, and the struggles they went through to get the psychiatric world to recognize PTSD as legitimate.
As always with books, I can never get enough of them, I’ve already dedicated a good portion of my life to reading, and I don’t see the trend quitting anytime soon. Long live the author, long live the publisher. Oh, and long live the library!
[Img.Src: Hoge, Morris, VVAW]