Vietnam Trilogy: Vol. 3 War Trauma: Lessons Unlearned from Vietnam to Iraq, A
Author: Raymond Monsour Scurfield
Publisher: Algora Publishing (2006)
Binding: Paperback, 248 pages
War Trauma concludes A Vietnam Trilogy, in which a nationally-renowned authority on post-traumatic stress disorder reveals the psychiatric impact of war on soldiers and veterans, which is denied or minimized by government and the military. Through efforts to treat veterans of past conflicts he illustrates the inevitability of lifelong psychiatric scars from today s conflicts as well.
Scurfield draws on the experience of prior wars for valuable insights to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with today s realities of combat and its aftermath.
This book studies the psychiatric impact of war on soldiers and veterans, and their familiesm and uses the experience of veterans of earlier wars to help people who are now in the military or in the healing professions, and their families and communities, to deal with today s realities of combat and its aftermath.
The effects go on for decades after the violence occurred, and we are still just learning to understand the depth and variety of problems it can cause. Further, Scurfield documents his proven innovative therapies for treating PTSD.
This volume also looks at what military and mental health professionals should have learned from the Vietnam War in order to better protect Americans in later conflicts and to help them recover afterwards. The Persian Gulf War, for instance, had an immense impact on veterans of all wars. The author was a national faculty member for joint VA-DOD training programs to enhance mental health response readiness for receiving anticipated medical and psychiatric casualties from the Persian Gulf War. What he found was a resurgence of selective amnesia and denial about the true impact of war.
Scurfield notes, "Chillingly, what happened in Vietnam in 1968-69 regarding psychiatric casualties has enormous parallels to what is happening today regarding US psychiatric casualties from the Iraq War."
MWSA 2009 2nd Runner Up for Non-Fiction, History
Dr. Raymond Monsour Scurfield is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is a Vietnam veteran and worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 25 years and has directed PTSD mental health programs in a number of locations. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his expertise in PTSD in both combat veterans and disaster survivors. This expertise comes from his many years of experience in working with others in the mental health profession and his own personal experience of being a veteran who experienced war as a psychiatric social work officer.
By reading the synopsis of each book, one can discover how Dr. Raymond Monsour Scurfield takes readers on a journey from his first days in Vietnam until the very present, going back with him on several trips with other veterans, and then the questions need to be addressed in how the past has affected the way the veterans of today's wars are being treated. Dr. Scurfield shares his personal journey as well as sharing quotes and experiences from many other veterans. His personal sharing allows us to see deeply into his thoughts and how his strategies and innovative therapies for treating combat veterans can be used in the field of mental health. These books can open doors for active duty military members and veterans, as well as offer guidance to their families and other community members.
Personally, I wondered what impact this series of books would have on me. I am not a veteran, I have a son who served eight years in the Marines, but is a non-combat veteran. So--should others like me take the time to read these books? They are not what I would call an "easy read" whatsoever, but I would call them an "essential read," for all of us have been impacted by war and know people that are struggling with PTSD issues. For me, having the input of "other voices" beyond Dr. Raymond Scurfield's allowed me to hear the stories from more than one voice and helped me to "experience" through them, the impact that war had on each and every one of them. Dr. Scurfield is an expert whose voice is being heard around the world. Anyone who is experiencing PTSD or knows someone struggling with PTSD would be wise in reading these books. They would be a wonderful resource for mental health professionals. We may not have learned enough from Vietnam, but Dr. Scurfield brings us the hope that we need for moving into our future.
Reviewed by: Joyce Gilmour (2009)