Unlike most histories of American veterans or veterans' organizations that focus on groups from a specific conflict or era, Taylor's work chronicles the struggles faced by American veterans throughout our history. Each chapter begins with a battlefield vignette designed to take the reader back to a given conflict. This is followed by an explanation of the situation and of the reception veterans faced when they returned home, as well as the evolving response of the federal government to veterans' needs and benefits. Among the issues Taylor explores are social readjustment/acceptance, training, placement, and hiring preferences; medical care and disability compensation; education; retirement and burial. The work also examines to what extent the treatment of women/minority veterans has differed, as well as how veterans' issues have affected women/minorities in society. The chapters are followed by appendices that list veterans programs and organizations. Accompanying photographs relate still other stories—those written on our veterans' gallant faces.
"The recent media and congressional furor concerning the deplorable conditions facing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the less trumpeted difficulties many recent veterans are facing in receiving adequate care and readjusting to life back home likely came as no surprise to author Taylor, who describes similar situations throughout American history from the Revolutionary War to the present. With treatment of veteran experiences of the aftermaths of the Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, foreign wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, World War I the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the first Gulf War included, he covers such issues as social readjustment and acceptance, job training and placement, medical care and disability compensation, education, retirement, burial. He also provides coverage of the often-differing experiences of women and minority veterans."-
Reference & Research Book News
"Taylor records the problems American veterans have faced when they returned home from various wars….Homeward Bound relates many of the shared experiences and hopes of those who served their country and describes the difficulties they encountered moving from battleground to the home front….Veterans, those who share in their lives and readers who enjoy history will appreciate the insights of Homeward Bound."-
"With more than three hundred footnotes, the Taylors' work is extensively researched. Each chapter is organized by an in-depth historical account of a conflict and immediately followed by accounts of the veterans' homecomings. In addition to the enormous amount of facts, the authors provide a wonderful anthology of personal stories from veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the current Global War on Terrorism. By weaving these personal stories throughout the book, Taylor skillfully connects the pieces of history together….[T]his book should be of major importance to legislators and policymakers who have a say in revamping and reestablishing veteran's benefits. More importantly, this book is educational to all citizens so they become more aware of the unbelievable sacrifices our servicemen and women have made and continue to make."-
By blending the historical experiences with the psychological and social obstacles faced by American veterans from the Revolutionary War through the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, Taylor chronicles their struggles as they try to realize their dreams when they return home from distant battlefields.