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New book helps troops with life after war

May 27, 2008 |  1:19 pm

Warbook200 The new book, "After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families," (Lifelong Books), was written by two mental health experts who wanted "to make sure that the homecoming and reintegration process for our newest veterans would be greatly different than it was for the generation of Vietnam veterans."

That will be a difficult task. According to Pentagon statistics, 31% of Marines, 38% of soldiers and 49% of National Guard troops report psychological symptoms after returning home from war. In their book, Laurie B. Slone and Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, two experts with the VA National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, provide a guide to troops and family members about what they can expect from life after war and how to deal with common challenges. "Coming home, for some, can be harder than going to war," they write. After the joyous homecoming, service men and women often discover that they, and the people around them, have changed during their deployment. They find they cannot easily leave behind many of the feelings and memories generated by the war and that the mind-set that served them well in the war zone can cause problems after their homecoming.

The government has been heavily criticized for a lack of supportive services and healthcare for returning veterans. This book will assist people in finding the help they need and deserve. Library Journal says:

"Far more than a practical guide, this is an informative, insightful and riveting text that should be required reading for everyone because no one is left untouched by war."

-- Shari Roan