Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families
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VINE VOICEon March 3, 2009
This important work provides a broad array of information that will help returning soldiers, their loved ones, friends, and community to understand the challenges of reintegration to civilian life.

It provides education and advice for neighbors, coworkers, employers, and service providers who assist returning vets and their families.
Actually, the book is for anyone who wonders what to expect when a service member returns home from a war zone. It shows all of us how to help when the going gets tough (and it will).

For those like me, who were personally affected by the Vietnam War and its aftermath, we know how vital understanding and support is for our latest generation of combat vets and their families.
You'll find eye-opening facts on p.25, about Operation Enduring Freeedom/Operation Iraqi Freeedom.

The authors point out that unlike the Vietnam War, when the draft meant that most Americans were directly affected by the conflict, the modern "all volunteer" military has left participating families feeling a sense of isolation from the rest of society.

Another fact: The top two reasons returning troops seek care at VA Medical Centers are pain from musculoskeletal problems and mental health problems.
This book addresses every aspect of reintegration one can imagine, such as anticipation of return, the post-deployment stage (honeymoon period) special issues for reservists and women soldiers, reactions of children, problems with PTSD, communication problems, what it's like to be a loved one left at home, issues for the extended family, the need for social support, separating myth from reality, finances, relationships, and much more.

The Resource Section alone is worth the price of the book, plus there is an excellent index. Kudos to authors Laurie B. Slone, Ph.D. the Associate Director for Research and Education of the VA National Center for PTSD,and to Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD, the Executive Director of the VA National Center for PTSD and a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmocology at Dartmouth Medical School.
This book is broad in scope, and will change lives for the better. Very highly recommended!
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on May 19, 2008
Congratulations, you survived your deployment! The very Skills and Mindset you honed and sharpened will now get in the way of you returning to your normal home environment.

This book is valuable resource for you, your family, and your community. It "tells it like it is" and how it has been for thousands of soldiers before you returning from the WAR ZONE or from supporting The WAR ZONE.

I'm a Vietnam Veteran, who thought my return from combat would be a smooth transition. That was NOT the case! I was not prepared and neither was my family, my community nor my nation.

By studying this book, we all can gain understanding of what is required of the returning individuals and what is required to support them through reintegration from Warrior to Good Citizen.

After the War Zone: A Practical Guide for Returning Troops and Their Families
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on July 18, 2009
What a fantastic book! I have nothing but thanks and praise for the authors, Laurie B. Sloan, PhD and Matthew J Friedman, MD, PhD for this excellent resource guide. Not only can this book be applied to those returning home from combat with the military, but also to those who are suffering the traumatic effects of severe accidents, natural and unnatural catastrophes, sexual trauma, and even incarceration- situations that may alter perception and threaten the person's view of the world.

I hear what you're saying...how dare I compare the trauma of those in jail to those in combat? I have seen situations in which young men became involved with bad choices and were sent away for a year to "straighten them out"...and it was so traumatizing that they are suffering PTSD, panic attacks and depression, with no sympathizers or help available. This book is a lifesaver.

The authors hone in on exact situations regarding the challenges of deployment, from the emotional cycle of pre-deployment, to the images we all have of the return; how the expectations are different on both sides. They explain the differences in mindset necessary to deal with being in battle, vs. the mindset needed by those running a household at home (while providing support to the one who is away). They explore the emotions involved - guilt, anger, grief, isolation, etc. - with superb explanations of situations that can cause these emotions, and why it is so difficult to adjust to life after homecoming.

Stressful situations may leave their mark via post traumatic stress disorder, unresolved anger, adrenaline rush, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, and more. They discuss various treatments to alleviate these disorders, with a practical assessment of how effective each may be. Discussions about stigmas that get in the way of seeking treatment offer practical recommendations for solving these dilemmas. A resource guide is provided at the back of the book listing advocacy and support groups for assistance.

This book is really a valuable resource. It should be read by every authority in the military organization, as well as military families. Also by families dealing with accident victims in their households, those who have suffered sexual abuse or physical abuse, Probation Officers and counselors who are helping parolees to weave back into society successfully. To the authors: I suspect your work has saved more than a few lives, and I thank you for your efforts.
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on March 1, 2012
This book contains all the necessary information to prepare for deployment, who does what, and how to re-adjust when coming home It is filled with resources of different agencies to notify and who and what help is available. It is geared for both the military person and his or her family.
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on March 4, 2011
As a psychologist, this book is very good at describing the problems of both deployment and post-deployment for the spouse and the veteran alike. It is full of helpful resources specific for the military. I would recommend everyone with a loved one returning home read it.
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on July 27, 2013
I am not military but have been training to work in Military Psychology (APA Div 19) and used this book in a literature review about the psychological impact of combat zones. To date, this is the most comprehensive, up-to-date resource I have read. It is an easy read and contains a wealth of resources. The authors explore the dynamics in the relationships between service members, their families and their warzone buddies. It also provides some insight into military culture for anyone who is exploring the military culture. I personally have recommended this book to friends and acquaintances in the US Military either for personal use or for support groups. I know several contacts who are licensed counselors who work in PTSD, Trauma or Family Counseling, who have given copies of this book to patients to work through. At a time when the US military are advancing in their programs of care, this is one resource that can reach those service members (and their families) who are unable to seek treatment due to rank, specialty (eg: Special Forces/Intel/Black Ops) or other stigmas. If you are a counselor in any capacity, particularly if you work near a military base; this is a book you need to read and should probably plan to purchase a couple copies of.
(If you are unable to purchase this book, I have found that many local libraries carry this book, so it may be worth checking there!)
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on January 11, 2014
I purchased this book when myhusband was deployed. I enjoyed this book because it showed both sides of deployments. The loved one who is deployed and the loved ones who stand by their side. I feel this book should be given to every family member before a deployment.
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on September 8, 2008
As more of the 1.6 million troops mobilized for Iraq and Afhanistan return home, this book will be a very important practical resource. The authors draw upon a wealth of experience in research and treatment to write a book that is down to earth, frank, and informative.
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on April 22, 2013
Bought this for a Friend returning from Oversea Deployment! I did NOT have anything like this type of 'HELP' on my return(s) from South East Asia. It MAY have helped me!! My Friend LOVED IT!!!
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on September 13, 2014
Easy read. Tons of great informations. For the service member, partner, family, and friends. A great stepping off point. Who knew.
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