Binding Their Wounds: America's Assault on Its Veterans

Overview

It is in the nature of our naïveté about war that we prepare for combat but rarely for its aftermath. Vietnam vet and historian Robert “Doc” Topmiller began Binding Their Wounds while he was still struggling with his own PTSD but died before he could finish the book. Completed by his friends, the book provides an engaging account of America’s attitudes and treatment of its veterans, from the revolutionary war forward. Major chapters focus on the failures of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans...
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Overview

It is in the nature of our naïveté about war that we prepare for combat but rarely for its aftermath. Vietnam vet and historian Robert “Doc” Topmiller began Binding Their Wounds while he was still struggling with his own PTSD but died before he could finish the book. Completed by his friends, the book provides an engaging account of America’s attitudes and treatment of its veterans, from the revolutionary war forward. Major chapters focus on the failures of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (and its predecessors) to address the needs of vets exposed to radiation in post–World War II military experiments, vets suffering from Gulf War illnesses, and vets exposed to Agent Orange during Vietnam. Particular attention is given to the persistent issues of trauma and suicide in soldiers and veterans. This volume documents strengths and shortcomings of military and VA responses to the needs of our servicemen and women and suggests ways that we can do better, including the avoidance of armed conflict. Rich in personal accounts of veterans, Doc’s own story is compellingly woven into the narrative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594515729
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,020,988
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Topmiller joined the Navy at seventeen and served as a hospitalman with the Marines at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. Later a businessman and professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University, “Doc” Topmiller wrote two books on Vietnam: The Lotus Unleashed: The Buddhist Peace Movement in South Vietnam 1964–1966 (2002) and Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh 1968 to 2005 (2007). He was working on Binding Their Wounds when he died. He left a wife, three children, and three grandchildren.

T. Kerby Neill is a Navy veteran and clinical psychologist. Dr. Neill worked in the VA and later spent most of his career as a child psychologist. He is the author of Helping Others Help Children: Clinical Supervision of Child Psychotherapy (2006). Retired from psychology in 2004, he devotes much of his time to peace education. He is married, a father, and grandfather.

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Table of Contents

Foreword George C. Herring vii

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Chapter 1 "Help Me, Doc" 1

Chapter 2 The VA's Story 19

Chapter 3 Atomic Veterans 49

Chapter 4 Agent Orange Peter Berres 73

Chapter 5 Gulf War Syndrome 93

Chapter 6 War and the Human Psyche of America's Veterans 117

Chapter 7 Veterans' Suicides 139

Chapter 8 The VA Today 155

Chapter 9 "Help Us, Doc," to Avoid the Next War 175

Notes 195

Index 219

About the Authors 231

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