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Lethal Warriors: When the New Band of Brothers Came Home

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    I have decided I need to start this review by saying upfront tha

    I have decided I need to start this review by saying upfront that I have never supported the involvement of Americans and Canadian military in the war in Iraq. I am proudly Canadian, and while I do not support the war, I do support our men and women who have taken part in the war. I believe these people join the military to support their country and that is why I support them. And I feel the same about the American military personnel. That being said, I will also say that I was in two minds about reading and reviewing this book. I didn't particularly want to read about the war in Iraq, but I did want to see what the author had to say about PTSD.

    My papa was a boy in Finland in World War II. He and his family hid in the hills when the German army came through, and then again a few long years later, when the Russians came through chasing the remaining Germans back. He only spoke of it infrequently and usually only after something had caused him to be reminded of that time, some sound, some sight or some smell that would cause him to think back. I still get tears in my eyes thinking about the things he saw as a young boy, things he could do nothing about. Even writing this short amount brings to mind the look he would have on his face. That is actually why I decided to read this book, his look. I know that he suffered mental trauma because of what he went through, and I know that to deal with it, he drank. I believe that he suffered from PTSD and that is why i decided to read this.

    David Philipps takes us on a journey through the lives of several young men who volunteered to serve their country and served in the American Army. They served their country, were given several weeks, sometimes months of training in weaponry, tactics, fighting, shooting and physical endurance and then were returned to their own country broken, sad, struggling to cope in the aftermath of all they had witnessed and been involved in. With most receiving little to no help with their mental issues (I hate how that sounds, but I'm not sure how else to word it), they were sent home to their families and friends different people than when they had started in the military.

    Some coped well and returned to mainstream living with little or no discernible changes. Others suffered from insomnia, nightmares and other troubles that they were helped with and then returned to living with some help and were able to barely cope. Still others returned, denying to themselves and others, that they were suffering from any problems and then couldn't cope. They recieved no help and ended up in jail, charged with various crimes including murder, rape and assault. And still, these people who had served their country, were denied help.

    PTSD has been known by a variety of names including combat fatigue, and has existed as long as man has warred. It is a difficult disease to diagnos and treat, made harder by the stigma attached to mental illness and the don't ask, don't tell approach that is still seen today.
    The author does not excuse what these men did, but he does try to help explain the WHY. And also what the government, the military and the people themselves need to do to change the system and to get help for people suffering from PTSD.

    This book is not for the faint of heart, it goes through all the harrowing details of what these young men went through while they were serving in the army and the crimes they did when they returned home. It goes a long way to showing how PTSD changes lives and what can be done to combat PTSD in our military and in civilians as well.

    A very well researched, well written book. It gives an objective look at the trauma war causes to our troops and what can be done to help them heal from their experiences.

    The copy I have has an updated forward written in January 2012. It has a quote by journalist Tom Ricks that to me sums up the Iraqi War...'The Vietnam Memorial is a gash in the ground, like a grave, I think ideally, the Iraqi War memorial probably would ideally be a dead end.'

    I received my copy of Lethal Warriors through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I was in this Brigade. I remember all the pressure that went from deploying from one combat zone to another. We had very little training going into Iraq. We had no Family Readiness Group established. Our families were spread all over the world. I saw death in every Soldiers eye in while deployed in Ramadi Iraq. We lost over 80 Soldiers. Then when we return we lied about having issues because we wanted to avoid having to see a doctor and delay seeing our families. I didn't understand PTSD then, and neither did the Army. There were some sick people from this brigade. This is a true story that continues to hunt the Soldiers from this unit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012


    As the mother of a Marine who deployed, I was enlightened on how psychologically our warriors are affected and disappointed on how the military denies the facts that our warriors are struggling. I only hope the government will take the info in this book to heart and try to help our warriors before it is too late! This is real, not a ploy for sympathy and our country needs to be able to understand and take action. I feel horrible for all the parties involved (the innocent victims, the veterans and their families) but deeply appreciate the honesty shared. Unfortunately, this book only touches on a small portion of what our combat warriors go through while deployed. This book is telling it like it is whether we like it or not.

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  • Posted June 24, 2012

    I enjoyed every part of this book. It gave a great look at what

    I enjoyed every part of this book. It gave a great look at what these men went through during their time in Iraq and the suffering PTSD causes. Unfortunately, it takes events like the ones in this book for people to actually do something about prevention and support to those soldiers and family members returning from war.

    As a girlfriend of a soldier in the Army, this book educated me on the signs and symptoms of PTSD and gave me a good look at what to expect from my soldier when returning from a deployment. PTSD is an illness...not a sign of weakness, and I am prepared to support and help my soldier no matter his condition on returning home.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    holy moly. this book gave me new eyes to everything i have ever

    holy moly. this book gave me new eyes to everything i have ever thought about war. i could not put this book down, and i feel incredibly lightened with a new morality to judging things i really had no idea about. Really learning about PTSD has definitely gave me something to try to be a part of helping soldiers with as much i can with my future career. I'm certain this book actually changed my life.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A powerful story!

    Lethal Warriors was an amazingly powerful story. It offers insight into a growing problem in the military, PTSD. Philipps, follows the stories of Iraqi war veterans and their struggles with physical and mental traumas of war. The author tells the story with details that help build relationships with the soldiers.

    My own experience with trauma in the military and PTSD drew me into the story. Philipps, showed the lack of understanding of PTSD in the military and the need for more understanding of the affects of mental and physical trauma.

    This is a must read! Anyone with a friend or family member that experienced military trauma should read this book.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    Excellent. Inside view on the total costs of War.

    I knew one of the people shot in this book and it does him justice. David Philipps does a great job of fleshing out perpetrators and the victims. They feel like real people. I think the greatest contribution of this work is delineating what combat stress injury(PTSD) is and how it effects a Soldier, a family, a Unit, and a Community. I would recommended it to other veterans( I already have), to the families of veterans, and anyone who wants to understand combat stress injury.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    I wasn't able to decide whether I liked or hated this book at first.

    What I liked about it was the portrayal of the Infantry culture. It seemed to me that it was very similar to my own experiences. The author was also painfully accurate in the way he depicted the frustration and anger associated with the job. This first and foremost is fighting an enemy that detonates bombs and fires shots one minute only to disappear into the population the next. The second being what the author calls the groundhogs day effect. At the same time I hated it for portraying Infantry veterans as sociopaths. I thought that if I had no prior experience the message may get misunderstood. Because of my concern I contacted the author. He informed me this was not his intention. He told me he was telling the story and events leading up to that perfect storm situation in his home town. I found him very sincere in desire to make a positive contribution. After our correspondence I came to the conclusion that this was an important book to raise awareness to the invisible wounds that warriors of all generations have suffered. For those who have never served in a combat arms role I offer a few suggestions to make the message clearer. 1) Try not to get caught up in your own political views one way or the other. It is not important to those on the ground. 2) Realize that NOT all Infantrymen committed or witnessed war crimes. 3) Do NOT come away from this book thinking that every veteran is a ticking time bomb. It is important that veterans with problems get help. An irrational fear of them doesn't help anyone but instead puts up yet another barrier. Former Army Grunt Iraq 06-07 Afghanistan 09-10

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    Highly Recommended!

    It is very well done. Dave Phillips tells the very real and sad story of those killed and those that killed. The story of this present war is complicated, and he highlights the fact that the killers were not innately evil, but started life at a disadvantage, and were trained to kill. We as a society have not figured out how to undo the training that makes our Soldiers so effective. The author did a tremendous job at putting the story together, pulling their ties with history of past wars and the struggle of those who lead. The story gives the reader tremendous insight into the Army life; the reasons people join, the reasons they stay, and the consequences in between. Army Doc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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