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on July 17, 2005
Unlike a previous reviewer, who claimed he had been in Iraq for a year, and hated Trudeau (he obviously never read the book), I can say that not only was I a participant in OIF (2003), but I also had the pleasure (?) of using the Fisher House at Landstuhl RMC (Oct 2003-Feb 2004). If you buy this wonderful book for no other reason, buy it because you support us, the men and women of the Armed Forces.

This is not whether the War is right or wrong. My personal opinion does not count. I have sworn to uphold and defend The Constitution, defend you, the American People, and obey the orders of the President (elected, and re-elected by the American People). This is about the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, Reservists, Guardsmen and Civilian Contractors who pass through Landstuhl every day.

We either stay until recovery and return to our Commands (as I did), or we get sent to either Walter Reed or Bethesda. While I was there, some spent weeks recovering. Too well to go stateside, too wounded to return to the AOR. The Fisher House cost us anywhere from $0.00-$10.00 per night, and included meals and maids. If for no other reason, THAT is what is right about this book.

And if you don't think this was a real book review, you wouldn't understand, anyway.
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on June 30, 2005
Growing up, I read Doonesbury every day. I even went back and read all the strips right from the begining. I loved that he took these characters and allowed them to grow and change. With time, I kinf of faded out of the strip, prefering the mix of political satire and traditional comic strip structure of Boondocks, but when he did the storyline with B.D. losing his leg I found it so very gripping and well-written. I never miss Doonesbury now. His strips tell a continuing story of American life and while he clearly has a political perspective, he presents his views in an effective and respectful manner. His storytelling with B.D. has been done with compassion and honor. I had my doubts when it began. I didn't want to see it and I didn't think it could be done right, although I did commend the effort to tell the story of war amputees. He has done it just so well. If you look for a political agenda, you may find one, but it is a compliment to his writing that the text is so unadorned with political preaching. It gets its message across and knows that it never needs to beat you over the head with it.

If you're looking for an anthology, obviously pass this by. That's not what this collection is for. It collects a moving and well told story that has a lot of relevance in today's world. I highly recommend it.
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HALL OF FAMEon January 14, 2006
One could consider "The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time," by G.B. Trudeau, to be a novella in cartoon form. The short book focuses on B.D., a soldier who, as we see in the opening pages, has lost a leg to an attack while serving in Iraq. The book charts his journey of recovery and readjustment. Trudeau depicts B.D.'s relationships with the medical personnel who both care for and challenge him, with his fellow amputees, with his family, and with his goofy, goateed friend Zonker (the source of much of the book's humor).

Despite the serious subject matter, the story is presented as a comedy, and Trudeau skillfully creates jokes that I found appropriate to both the characters and storyline. Don't expect political sermonizing or an ideological slant from this book; the focus is on B.D.'s personal struggle and its impact on his family. There is a particular emphasis on B.D.'s relationship with his young daughter, and on her methods for dealing with her father's situation. Trudeau covers a lot of the practical issues that a disabled veteran faces as he adjusts to a radically changed life. There is some gentle but affectionate satirizing of both the military and the medical professions. The overall tone of the book is hopeful and positive. Trudeau avoids syrupy sentimentality and ultimately tells a solid, down-to-earth story. This is an important contribution to the growing literature of the Iraq War.
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on October 9, 2005
I purchased this book for my husband, an injured Vet from Desert Storm. He made our local library get a copy for the shelf after he read it. He works as a counselor for Vets now and recommends it for reading to them. Thank you, Gary, for touching the truth even when it hurts.
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on March 18, 2006
I have been a longtime fan of Doonesbury since it was first syndicated and have literally all of Trudeau's books (including "Trout Fishing in the Reflecting Pool" in the first edition), but I've not been reading it recently. Thus, I was unaware of the plot of this book when I got it. It hit me like a ton of bricks. He really does a great job of telling a complete story here, with humor and pathos and a remarkable amount of sensitivity, while at the same time acknowledging that dealing with a loved one with an amputation, let alone an amputation caused during a war over which great debate rages, can cause legitimate discomfort. A simply remarkable and accessible book. And no, I had no idea what a physiatrist was either.
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on July 1, 2005
While some might be picky because this is not a true anthology, you can read about how Trudeau and the publisher are donating profits to Fisher House. Stars and Stripes magazine (estripes dot com) has a full article on 01July2005 regarding this subject.

I could only admire Trudeau taking on (as usual) a controversial and emotional story line at a time when American attitudes about our involvement overseas is changing. We would have purchased this book regardless because of Trudeau's talents, but knowing that proceeds are going to help wounded soldiers is frosting on the cake. My copy is on order, as well as gift copies for others!
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on November 3, 2006
I really loved this book. It was recommended to me by my graduate thesis professor who is a leading edge researcher in prosthetics. I am also the mom of a disabled son AND I've worked with amputees during my graduate school years. This book speaks to the realities, doubts, and fears of being a disabled person, yet it's hopeful, too. Trudeau really captures the feelings and thoughts of both the amputee and family members. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is wrestling with amputation and/or disability issues and who wants a thoughtful (and sometimes lighthearted--there IS light in the darkness!) view on it. This book is realistic and human. Don't miss it.
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on July 13, 2005
Check it out - BD, the former football start turned deployed Guardsman gets wounded in Fallujah, and thus the journey begins.

It's a quick read (a perfect mini-mental health vacation), has some great vignettes about being mili-dude (it's got a behavioural specialist on staff to help single guys returning from deployment regain appropriate social skills), and the culture of military medicine (especially surgeons and Wally world (WRMAC) idiosyncracies).

I've seen the fallout for patients with injuries on the outside and inside - this book addresses both kinds of wounds.

Even more perfect, the proceeds benefit the Fisher House foundation, which gives DOD patients and their families a place to stay close to the hospital.
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on October 18, 2005
I have been reading Doonesbury since the 70's. I bought it for my husband, who will deploy in January, but stayed up late to finish it myself. I was pleased to revisit with these familiar characters in an unfamiliar situation. It gives me hope that I, like B.D.'s wife, can overcome whatever happens during my husband's deployment.
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on July 9, 2005
I've been following BD's "recovery" ever since the strip on occupational therapy appeared in our mailroom at the hospital. It is, I think, a fine tribute to wounded warriors of all conflicts and I would commend Mr Trudeau on this book as well as his donation of profits to the Fisher House. He seems to have been able to leave his politics behind while creating it, hopefully many will leave theirs behind and read it.
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