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“Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts: Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD”

by Celia Strauss (Author), Patricia Driscoll (Author)
SUMMARY: When the war comes home . . .
This book is crafted around soldiers' personal descriptions of their war experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan that culminate in life-altering injuries to the brain and psyche, along with the equallydramatic story of their recoveries. An irony of America's 21st century wars has been that while our combat medical and medevac capabilities have grown enormously (from a rough average of 4: 1 wounded to dead in WWII to 8: 1 today), the nature of many of our soldiers' wounds has undergone a subtle change. Men and women who survive the thick of combat, including repeated concussion blasts,increasingly present a difficult-to-detect kind of injury, no less debilitating then wounds from bullets or shrapnel.
Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts documents the ever-increasing cases of physical or mental brain trauma among our vets that has risen as a direct result of more soldiers surviving their flesh wounds on the battlefield. The chapters are crafted from interviews with troops and their familymembers, and bridged with essays by internationally known mental health professionals, veterans' advocates, and members of the Veterans Administration and Department of Defense, all of whom are working in the front lines of what is quickly developing into a national crisis of unfathomable cost in both lives and money.
From combat Army soldiers and Marines, even amputees, who eventually discover thattheir greatest disability is in their head, to support personnel such as Devore Barlowe, who returns from Iraq having witnessed atrocities that leave her with severe PTSD, but perseveres juggling her job and the single mothering of two young children, the voices of these warriorsreinforce the book's over-arching theme of resilience and courage.
Thankfully the U.S. military's battlefield supporthas vastly improved since prior wars. However, the signature wound of 21st century warfare-Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as PTSD-may lie beyond the current reach of standard medical procedures, and is more evidenced by the postwar stories of the soldiers themselves. In this book we get a thorough look at the travails of our veterans who may currently be undiagnosed and without help, but whom weare all committed to support.
Celia Straus is author of the national bestseller, Prayers On My Pillow, and an award-winning film writer/producer who has been writing about the war-related experiences of service members and their families since 2003. The Armed Forces Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the men and women of America's military.
Foreword to “Hidden Battleson Unseen Fronts: Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD” by Army Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, M.D.
Director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

December 2008


For many of our Warriors, “coming home” is not the end of war—far from it.

Leaving the battlefield far behind, the battle often continues—in heartsand minds, relationships, and communities after deployment. Families and loved ones often find themselves fighting a battle, too, striving to understand and support the person they care for after a life-changing experience that they may not want to remember, let alone talk about. Warriors may feel isolated in a frightening and unfamiliar struggle to cope with memories of war, one of the most intenseand affecting experiences a human being can endure.

The intensely personal stories in this book place a human face on the adversity of war that frequently remains hidden from public attention: the challenge of post-traumatic stress, concussion (also known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and other psychological health issues among our returning Warriors. Despite the struggles,...
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