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Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences [Hardcover]

James D. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 16, 2010 1442204346 978-1442204348
Much has been written of the short-term experience of combat trauma. Almost nothing has been documented about how that trauma impacts individuals years after their first conflict experiences and into later life. Here, Johnson relates the stories of fifteen of his combat brothers to share with the world what their terror of four decades ago has done to them and how it affects them to this day. With candor and vivid detail, they reveal how their combat trauma symptoms still infect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a daily basis. Those returning from battle now and their family and friends will find here a roadmap of what to expect from those suffering from PTSD as a result of combat. With this knowledge, today's veterans and those who love and care for them can tackle the issues and challenges so that symptoms may be minimized and addressed. Those who still carry these wounds will find that they are not alone, and that there are ways of dealing with the horror, no matter how long ago it may have been. Johnson concludes the book with resources for obtaining help and mending the spirit in the face of what can be debilitating thoughts and fears.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this incredibly courageous expose, a group of 16 Vietnam veterans look at the realities of combat trauma and their own PTSD, offering an intensely personal glimpse into what brings it on, why it isn't curable, what people can do to cope, and most importantly, how loved ones can come to terms with it. While this is by no means a clinical guide written by medical professionals, it is a strikingly honest look at an issue that is becoming more apparent in our society as combat veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Readers will be drawn in immediately--not to the jungles of Vietnam, but the internal hell of the men who fought there. Forty years after the fact, these men experience regular flashbacks; readers will be shocked and angered by the lack of government resources being devoted to the problem, and moved by the effects that these experiences have had on the soldiers' personal and professional lives. While a medical counterbalance might have been helpful for readers seeking a more clinical understanding of PTSD, in creating an emotional understanding, Johnson's book is a success. (Aug.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

James Johnson's Combat Trauma offers a searing account of the impacts of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as told from the perspective of sixteen combat veterans who have suffered, endured, and gained valuable insight from their experiences. Anyone seeking to understand the effects of combat stress and the men who suffer from it should read this book. (Jason A. Stewart, Texas Tech University)

It's no easy road for returning veterans and that return home can be a lot easier with a map-Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences is that map. There are a lot of things I could say about this important piece of work, but in simplest terms, this book will save lives. (Michael Anthony, Iraq War Veteran and author of Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq)

In this incredibly courageous expose, a group of 16 Vietnam veterans look at the realities of combat trauma and their own PTSD, offering an intensely personal glimpse into what brings it on, why it isn't curable, what people can do to cope, and most importantly, how loved ones can come to terms with it. While this is by no means a clinical guide written by medical professionals, it is a strikingly honest look at an issue that is becoming more apparent in our society as combat veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Readers will be drawn in immediately—not to the jungles of Vietnam, but the internal hell of the men who fought there. Forty years after the fact, these men experience regular flashbacks; readers will be shocked and angered by the lack of government resources being devoted to the problem, and moved by the effects that these experiences have had on the soldiers' personal and professional lives....In creating an emotional understanding, Johnson's book is a success. (Publishers Weekly)

If you are puzzled by the term "post-traumatic stress disorder," you could do nothing better than read Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences. In this bombshell of a book, sixteen veterans of the Vietnam War describe their heroic battles, first with the enemy and then with their own internal demons. They describe PTSD as "a lifetime sentence," "being trapped in the past," "four decades of pain," and "walking the point alone." Anyone who has a friend or relative with a PTSD diagnosis needs to read this book in order to gain at least a partial understanding of a sear to the soul that never seems to heal. For mental health professionals, PTSD is a psychiatric disorder; for me it is also a combat wound, and this incredible book bears testimony to that judgment. (Stanley Krippner Ph.D, Saybrook University)

While the information was helpful to both the men and women who may have been suffering from PTSD, either knowingly or unknowingly, the information was also helpful to their families.
(The Stanly News and Press)

Only one who has been systematically terrified over and over by firefights, deadly ambushes, snipers, booby traps, and rocket and mortar fire can understand the true horror of combat. The resulting terror strikes long-lasting fear in the psyche of a young person. To be exposed over and over, month after month, wounds the soul in ways that lasts a lifetime. Here, Vietnam veterans talk of the long-term consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by their experiences in combat. Even decades after their initial exposure, they still suffer flashbacks, nightmares, depression, difficulties in their families and their careers, and other challenges as a result of their time on the front lines. Still, the author shows that there is hope for those who suffer from PTSD after combat, offering strategies that others have used to cope with their memories so they may move forward.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442204346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442204348
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,543,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Captivating Real Experiences August 8, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book will grip your heart and soul. Sixteen warriors recount in vivid detail their experiences in combat and how those experiences have changed the rest of their lives. I read it through in one sitting and have started reading it again. For the first time, I can see the horror through their eyes, and can relate that to folks I have known with similar experiences. Should be mandatory reading for any military person and for anyone who truly wants the simple truth about what their lives and sacrifices and comraderie and fears and consequences are all about. This is a superb book. Simply written - but very powerful, it shares insights I have never understood. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Combat Trauma - a very personal look at PTSD March 13, 2011
By Dellmcp
Format:Hardcover
I have known Jim Johnson for many years. I have know him as a teacher, the father of a friend, a business person, a church leader, etc., but never have I known the depth of his love for his fellow soldiers than after reading this book. As a civilian living in Fayetteville, NC, the home of Fort Bragg, my family and I know many military personnel. We hear discussed "post traumatic stress syndrone." We try to understand; we try to be compassionate; we try to empathize. After reading this very personal book that was lived by someone I know, I can say "I truly DO NOT know" the depths of the impact felt by so many. Thank you, Jim Johnson and the fifteen other men, for opening the wounds of your heart and soul. The candid details of your writing will surely help many of us to better understand the affects and longevity of PTSD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Dr. Johnson:

Charlie Taylor gave me a copy of your book, not knowing that on the very day he autographed your book to me, my son George, left for Afghanistan. George has already served two tours in Iraq. Yes, after reading the details of how Combat Trauma affects the lives of a lot of vets, I now feel guilty in my treatment of George in relationship to how I see his drinking effecting his life. I also have been harsh to my dad, a Combat Rifleman Vet, and several of my Uncles also Combat Rifleman. Now, that your book has help open my eyes to how serious Combat Trauma can be, I plan on passing the word, to my descendants, and be a better father to my son George, who will need my tender loving care, and understanding when he gets back from Afghanistan. Interesting, that I first met Charlie Taylor almost 40 years ago. What a dashing young man he was, so confident, accomplished,well educated, seeming to not have a care in world. Little did I know he has suffered and paid dearly for his service to our Country. I now pledge to be a better friend to Charlie Taylor. I wish my dad and his brothers were still alive so that I could make up for my critical behavior towards them. Dr. Johnson, I am today buying copies of your book, and learning to be a better person, especially to my son George.

Sincerely yours,

Henry Anthony Ebarb, J.D. Ph.D.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Having Been There July 17, 2012
Format:Paperback
Chaplain Johnson,
I just finished Combat Trauma.
I send thunderous applause your way...Great Job.
I can't tell you how much the book spoke to me and for me.
Like most Vietnam combat veterans I had packed up my memories and walled them up in a fortified attic section of my brain.
The occasional nightmare was there but, for the most part, I lived a productive life. I had contact with a few fellow vets and this was the only time that I would speak of Vietnam.
When my mental fortifications started to crumble, the memories poured out. I finally went to the VA about 8 years ago and have now been dealing with my demons instead of trying to ignore them.
Your book is guaranteed to help many people.
Your donating the royalties to the Wounded Warrior program is more that admirable.

Sincerely,

William Metzler
5th Battalion, 60th Infantry
9th Infantry Division
6/67-6/68
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not alone with PTSD August 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My husband was in Vietnam, in a group called the Mobile Riverine Force, a combined Army and Navy force, returning home in 1969. Since then, he has felt that something was not right and sought help in 1970. He was told at that time to just get on with his life. We have learned that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not recognized at that time, and recently feelings have resurfaced that we have suspected were PTSD symptoms.
We purchased "Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences" by James D. Johnson trying to understand what we were going thru together. This book has confirmed our suspicions, and helped him to understand that he is not alone in his feelings and actions. PTSD is forever, and although buried, it has resurfaced thru-out our life.
In the book "Combat Trauma", Jim Johnson collaborated with actual soldiers and sailors in their experiences in combat, and how they moved on with their lives. It was as if they spoke directly to my husband. My husband and I read this book together, and took the time to discuss his personal experiences and feelings, as we worked thru the book. The chapters and flow of the writing from pre-war, war, and post-war events, helped not only my husband to understand what he is still going thru, but helped me to understand what he experienced and how it has impacted our life together. He is able to recognize now that he is not alone with his painful feelings.
Thank you Doc Johnson, and your "brothers" for sharing your personal experiences, which has given us insight to help us with our situation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone wanting to research or understand PTSD.
Great book that brought to life men whom have come forth and shared their most intimate details of trauma and hope!
Published 24 days ago by Sherese Oles
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
this will give the Viet nam vet some insight as to why we feel the way we do. Required reading to understand who we are..!!!!
Published 4 months ago by rg
5.0 out of 5 stars The Doctor's Perspective
I am a physician who has had the opportunity to care for many patients with PTSD. After reading Mr. Read more
Published 22 months ago by RRMD
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the world of PTSD
Combat Trauma is an amazing journey into the world of those who are living with PTSD. For those of us trying to understand and work with combat soldiers who served in Iraq and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Term Consequeces of Combat Trauma
To: Chaplain James D. Johnson, LTC, USA (Ret)

I have known the Author since serving with him in the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, in 1968. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Grayson Roulston
5.0 out of 5 stars I too lived the trauma in your book
Jim Johnson;

I met Frank Martinolich several years ago in PTSD counseling. As we compared notes we quickly realized we were in the same place at the same time. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Dennism61
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You to All of the Veterans Who Shared Their Personal Experiences
I want to thank you for the book Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences. You and your brothers so honestly and forthrightly told your experiences. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Bonita Barnes
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Look at a Tragic Consequence of War
I approached reading this book with hesitation. Did I really want to relive the aftermath of Viet Nam some 40 years later, especially being somewhat aware of what posttraumatic... Read more
Published 24 months ago by C. Wayne Ham
5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless the Brotherhood & the "Elite 16"
A Note for The Brotherhood:

For the past few days, I have been deeply entrenched in Combat Chaplain and Combat Trauma. Read more
Published 24 months ago by pag113002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read for Military Leaders and Civilian Policy Makers
Riveting, poignant, with exceptional insights. What struck me the most is Jim's clear portrayal of the effects of repetitive trauma absent the required application of the effects... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Gregory Schumacher
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