They Were Soldiers: How The Wounded Return From America's Wars By Ann Jones

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The novel “They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars: The Untold Story” by Ann Jones was published in 2013. The novel retells the firsthand accounts of soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and their return home. The war in Afghanistan started in 2001 and ended in 2021. The United States invaded Afghanistan intending to dismantle the terrorist group Al-Queda and the Taliban government. From 2010 to 2011, journalist Ana Jones decided to investigate the supposed progress of the war. The war fundamentally changed both lives and relationships of surviving troops and their families. Through descriptions of injuries, the rehabilitation of soldiers, and reintegration, we see how war affects lives and relationships. Many of the injuries …show more content…

Or so their loved ones believed. Several of these veterans returned home with PTSD and depression. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “11–20% of veterans experience PTSD in a given year”. While many were able to re-integrate into society, many others struggled. Some veterans would experience anxiety and guilt. In the novel, the Lucey family and their son, Jeff, illustrate how PTSD and depression from war affect a veteran and his family. Although Jeff appeared normal, he eventually started showing symptoms of PTSD. Jeff experienced night terrors, lacked an appetite, cut classes, declined to be with his family, drank heavily, and acted out in public. His parents, Kevin and Joyce, tried to admit Jeff into a VA hospital. While at the hospital, Jeff confessed that he was having suicidal thoughts. After being released the next day, his parents and girlfriend tried to help Jeff with his drinking problem. Even with the support of his loved ones, Jeff would eventually take his own life. The Luceys would make their story is known to share their experience and what they learned while trying to help …show more content…

Many soldiers with PTSD also experience mood swings. One moment a veteran is quiet and sullen; the next moment, they are aggressive and violent. These veterans would isolate themselves, drink heavily, break furniture, punch walls, and refuse to interact with loved ones. “She asks herself: Is this PTSD? Or is this just him?” (Jones, 2013, p.118). In the novel, the job of reintegration has fallen, almost exclusively, on women. Mothers, wives, and girlfriends must deal with the aggression of veterans because, in many cases, they’re the only support systems they have. These women are told to keep up a soldier’s morale even if they’re afraid of them or if they don’t want to. Aggression isn’t the thing women must deal with; many times, they are victims of violence. There are several instances of violence against women at the hands of soldiers. One example is Richard Corcoran. Corcoran was known to be a danger and a repeat domestic abuser of his estranged wife. He was assigned to an anger management course in Fort Braggs, but this course wouldn’t change anything. Corcoran would eventually shoot his wife and another soldier then he would shoot himself. Women are almost always the target of this kind of violence. It’s as if veterans with violent and destructive outbursts returned with bad attitudes toward women. Even with murder and suicide cases increasing, the military refuses to

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