Secrets Brought Home is James’ first novel.
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Secrets Brought Home by James Milton Smith is about a Marine who served his country in Laos in the years leading up to the Vietnam War, fighting in the U.S.’s Secret War. The story is about the soldier’s combat experience, and his struggle facing PTSD from combat and integrating into society upon return to civilian life. The returning vet was convinced he could not tell of his wartime experiences because he wasn’t sure he understood his own reactions to his recurring conflicted emotions. And that was compounded by the realization that he could not keep his flashbacks sublimated. His needed counseling and tools to cope with “the lion in the thicket.”
What is PTSD? And how does it manifest itself in the main character of the novel? Owen O’Brien’s journey will provide insights into what the returning vet with PTSD deals with almost daily. These insights might help one realize the magnitude of this national concern. The following statistics will serve as the dawning on our Rockpile.
Whose problem is it for all those living around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
- The returning veteran
- The family
- Our government
- Veterans Administration
- Law enforcement
- Medical profession
- Psychiatric counselors
- All of the above
It can be safely said now that ‘9. All of the above’ has become the clear answer. We are all becoming aware of the emergence of a mental health disorder common to the returning military personnel from wars. In November 2014, The National Center for PTSD released the following statistics:
- Of Vietnam veterans, one in three has had PTSD.
- And now, more than forty years since the war ended, 15% of the vets are being treated for PTSD.
- Of the returning vets from both Iraq wars and Afghanistan, approximately 15% are estimated to have PTSD.
- The Vietnam War saw about 2,100,000 vets serve in the war. The Afghan and Iraq Wars have sent over 2.5 million service personnel to those wars.
- In recent years, suicides have been calculated at roughly 22 a day for returning veterans from all prior wars.
Couple PTSD with any combination of alcoholism, divorce, abuse in families, depression, physical rehabilitation, and needed psychiatric help – and it can be clearly seen that PTSD is a national tragedy needing immediate and corrective measures to support the returning veterans from our seemingly endless preemptive wars.