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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily Captivating Real Experiences, August 8, 2010
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This review is from: Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to all Combat Vets. Especially Charlie Taylor & My Son George, February 22, 2011
This review is from: Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences (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
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
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey into the world of PTSD, August 4, 2012
This review is from: Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences (Hardcover)
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 Afghanistan, this is extremely valuable information from over 45 years ago that applies to our Iraq and Afghanistan combat soldiers of today...a "must read" for all service providers.
Patti Gordon, Community Readiness Specialist, United States Air Force
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Term Consequeces of Combat Trauma, July 28, 2012
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. He served as the Battalion Chaplain during his tour with the 3rd Battalion, 60th Infantry. I consider it an honor to have served with such a brave and honorable man. I served as a Platoon Leader of 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3nd Battalion, 60th Infantry, during this time period, and I had the honor of having Chaplain Johnson accompany me on several combat operations. On these operations, we were pinned down in the trenches, by enemy fire. I will admit that I felt more safe with Chaplain Johnson being present with my unit, because I felt that he had a direct line to God, and that he would ask God to protect us during battle.
Chaplain Johnson has authored another book entitled "Combat Chaplain". Both books contain gut wrenching and detailed information obtained. from his fellow soldiers, with whom he served, and to whom he ministered during all phases of combat, and from his own experiences in living in the trenches, with the combat soldiers. Chaplain Johnson truly is a Combat Chaplain. He ministered to all soldiers, with whom he came in contact, through all phases of combat. Not only did he minister to the troops in the rear garrison area, while standing down, he ministered to them in the trenches, while in the heat of battle; and ultimately in body bags, after they had paid the ultimate sacrifice.
This book provides detailed examples of the experiences and the effects of combat trauma, both short term and long term. It also provides guidance to combat veterans in seeking professional counseling to aide in dealing with and ultimately conquering PTSD.
Chaplain Johnson ministered to me, while we were serving together, in combat, and over the years he has continued to minister to me through correspondence, telephone conversations, and one-on-one discussions at our Unit Reunions. He is a great friend, and he has been a tremendous help to me in identifying and dealing with my combat trauma. I truly value his friendship, and I will always be indebted to him.
This book should be required reading for all leaders, at all levels of command, and by all counselors, at all Veteran's Centers, who provide assistance and counseling to all combat veterans.

Grayson D. Roulston
Combat-Brother
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You to All of the Veterans Who Shared Their Personal Experiences, July 16, 2012
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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. It is the most helpful book about Vietnam and living with PTSD that I have ever read. I have worked with the VA for over eight years as a chaplain, almost all of that time in Mental Health. I work with psychiatry, PTSD, military sexual trauma and substance abuse treatment. I kept having to put your book down and come back to it a few days later because I felt so much sadness and grief for all of you, not only those who came back, but those who never got a chance to live past that horrible part of their lives. You were the ones who fought for care. You were the ones who never gave up trying to educate the American public about the great injustice done to you. Every Veteran from every combat situation since Vietnam owes you a great debt. If no one has ever told you, I'm telling you now, thank you for your service for this country and for me. I have always been a tender hearted person and I remember my tears growing up in watching the news, hearing the stories and seeing those body bags being transferred. I know that I will never be able to understand combat. All I know to do is to be present and listen to the stories. That is such a privilege and honor to me. So thank you for your book, for your service and for your courage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving Look at a Tragic Consequence of War, July 15, 2012
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 stress disorder is? But out of curiosity I began to read. I quickly realized that I knew very little about PTSD! My heart was broken to discover what these war veterans had endured and were still enduring. The horror of seeing your friends killed, war injuries which many received, the unbearable conditions under which they fought, the indifference and out right rejection they received on returning home, the crass government leadership during the war and reaction to their plight on their return home, the difficulty of being accepted back into the main stream of American life and perhaps most of all, the agony of reliving it all over and over again in nightmares and flashbacks--all are laid bare here.

I weep to think of all the men and women in war through the years of just my life time who have suffered such indignities and had to come home to live with their demons. Like so many others, my father never mentioned his World War II years. I have no idea what he suffered through but alcohol soon entered his life after he returned home and we all paid the price for it. My hope is that books like Dr. Johnson's will help all of us give today's combat soldiers the respect and support they need and deserve. We're always saying, "This is a book everyone should read!" The language and details of this book are earthy but rightly so for these stories can not be told in flowery language. Even so, every spouse, parent, child of mature age, family member, and friend of a soldier placed in harm's way should read this book as well as every government official, minister, and counselor. We all need to get a picture of what it means to survive the horror of war so that we can understand what these veterans have endured and still do, for that matter.

I served in the military for a very short while but out of respect for men like Dr. Johnson who know what being a soldier really is, I seldom stand when those who have served in the military are recognized. Now I definitely will not stand. The sixteen men in this book and their ilk are the real veterans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless the Brotherhood & the "Elite 16", July 15, 2012
A Note for The Brotherhood:

For the past few days, I have been deeply entrenched in Combat Chaplain and Combat Trauma. I wanted to take a few minutes to express how these books enlightened and affected me.

First and foremost, I am deeply saddened by the on-going invisible residual and trauma, experienced by the combat brothers. 40 years is a long time to carry this burden. Please allow me to extend my deepest condolences to you and the entire brotherhood, for all that you had to endure and sacrifice while in Vietnam and for the recovery years that continue to follow. I offer my humble prayers for all of the brotherhood heroes and their families, who were lost in or are somehow diminished by the Vietnam war.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the "Elite 16" heroes who willingly contributed to this book, unveiling the dark side and painfully buried scars, while ensuring the other fallen brothers tragic stories, are precisely told. It is clear, while you may have physically survived on the battlefield, you continue to sacrifice emotionally still today. In my opinion, you were super heroes then, and you are larger than life super heroes now - because, you have been through a brutal war, bearing witness to the unbearable visual of war casualties, yet you have somehow managed to find your way through the darkness to "today", where proudly, your hands are instrumental in penning this book. Combat Trauma, is such a tremendous revelation and milestone, for you are making Vietnam acceptable to talk about.

I hope that you all truly recognize what a profound recovery tool this effort was, with such a positive outcome for the brotherhood of generations to come! You have proven, that 40 years later....isn't too late to start. You have opened the doors/windows of your souls to educate us, and hopefully brave efforts like this, will enable you and those around you to learn, accept, and forgive, as you continue to try to make sense of it all.

I personally lost two family friends in Vietnam and Cambodia. I still hold a few letters in my bible from one of them, who lost both his parents as a young boy and was raised in hardship, by his elderly grandparents. He was proud and quick to join the military as soon as age allowed, and he couldn't wait to be deployed to Vietnam, while most other young men his age were boycotting and dodging the draft. When he would come home on leave, he always wanted to talk about "over there", but most didn't want to hear about it....it was just too graphic...or sadly, many thought he was over embellishing his war stories.

After reading your book(s), I can truthfully say, I am better able to understand why he felt he had true "brothers" in Vietnam, and why he was so disconnected when he came back home. Sadly, he was KIA during his third deployment in Vietnam. It troubles me now, that we only got a snipet of his heroic "story" in his obituary, as is the case with the thousands of others who sacrificed their lives, or had their lives infinitely altered by the war.

Many good men were tragically lost in Vietnam, but thankfully it is abundantly clear, that many good men also came home. These are the men that survived by the grace of God, but are now challenged to reckon with the unappreciative and uneducated, while trying to cope with the internal demonic PTSD. Suffice to say, most of the "Elite 16" in this book, left a good portion of their heart and soul in Vietnam. I recognize that it took an enormous amount of courage, for them to allow themselves to be exposed and vulnerable with the disclosure of their personal anguish and PTSD.

With the help of truthful and heart rendering stories like these, it is now up to all of us civilians, especially those who are fortunate enough to have been unscathed by war, to read and really digest this information, so they can wholeheartedly embrace these heroes, as they continue the battle to find peace within.

THANK YOU, for educating me.....THANK YOU, for fighting for our country in a war that most still do not understand.....and THANK YOU, for the sacrifices that you continue to make in the wake and aftermath of Vietnam.

Lastly, THANK YOU, Chaplain Jim, for the continued effort and encouragement put forth, to reunite and maintain the loving, morale boosting, combat veteran brotherhood! I believe together, the brotherhood is on the ultimate journey, and that together, you will continue to reveal the deeply hidden scars from individual traumas, and expedite the healing and coping processes within.

God Bless The Brotherhood! Sincerely and Respectfully, Pam Husk-Rogers (Statesville, NC)Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences
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Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences
Combat Trauma: A Personal Look at Long-Term Consequences by James D. Johnson (Hardcover - September 16, 2010)
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