Thursday, 12 November 2015

Book Review: The Price They Paid: Enduring Wounds of War

Michael Putzel
Sent this book for review, I've put it off a bit. The Vietnam War was a difficult one on all counts. One of my gifted students wrote an amazing essay about it in 2005. Her family fled Vietnam to escape the war and seek refuge in Canada.

This book presents the human stories of a specific crew, C Troop, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, and primarily the late Jim Newman, who was 'known among his men for his coolness under fire, his steady voice, and deliberate action.'

It wasn't until the Vietnam War that PTSD was recognized not just as 'shell shock', but as the debilitating disease it proves to be for the soldiers, men and women, families, and for all of society.
"The irony of PTSD is that its symptoms are not an accident of war or even an unintended byproduct. They are the skills, often drummed into troops by military training, that are critical to success and survival in combat. It is no wonder that hypervigilance, hair-trigger reactions to potentially threatening movements, lack of sleep, sudden increase in heart rate and breathing, impatience, high anxiety, and closing down emotional responses are keys to survival under fire." -writes Putzel.
This book is about the human consequences of sending troops into battle, as well as their living and working conditions. It's about the impact on the American helicopter pilots and you can read more at the Condors Alumni Association stories page. There are many artifacts on this tribute page, including those supplied by Jim Newman.

We visited Washington in 2008. The memorial is a difficult place to visit.

The Price They Paid: Enduring Wounds of War is the stunning and dramatic true story of a legendary helicopter commander in Vietnam and the flight crews that followed him into the most intensive helicopter warfare ever—and how that brutal experience has changed their lives in the forty years since the war ended.

Michael Putzel is a distinguished American journalist who covered the war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos for two-and-a-half years as a war correspondent for The Associated Press. 

In recent news...

After developing post-traumatic stress disorder during his second deployment in Afghanistan in 2007, Canadian army veteran Fabian Henry tried numerous anti-depressants to quell his suicidal thoughts and violent rages. For three years, he was on as many as nine pills a day. But only one drug worked for him: marijuana.
Also, they are doing research
into using marijuana for PTSD


William Kendall said...

Fitting for this time of year. Good review.

Red said...

The Vietnam war was a failure on so many levels. The price forces personnel paid were huge. Some of them kept on living but lost their life.

Powell River Books said...

Our town is researching medical marijuana as a new business opportunity. And in Washington State it's now legal as a recreational drug. Times they are a changin. - Margy