Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital [NOOK Book]

Overview

When Lieutenant Commander Heidi Kraft's twin son and daughter were fifteen months old, she was deployed to Iraq. A clinical psychologist in the US Navy, Kraft's job was to uncover the wounds of war that a surgeon would never see. She put away thoughts of her children back home, acclimated to the sound of incoming rockets, and learned how to listen to the most traumatic stories a war zone has to offer.
One of the toughest lessons of her deployment was perfectly articulated by the...
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Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital

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Overview

When Lieutenant Commander Heidi Kraft's twin son and daughter were fifteen months old, she was deployed to Iraq. A clinical psychologist in the US Navy, Kraft's job was to uncover the wounds of war that a surgeon would never see. She put away thoughts of her children back home, acclimated to the sound of incoming rockets, and learned how to listen to the most traumatic stories a war zone has to offer.
One of the toughest lessons of her deployment was perfectly articulated by the TV show M*A*S*H: "There are two rules of war. Rule number one is that young men die. Rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one." Some Marines, Kraft realized, and even some of their doctors, would be damaged by war in ways she could not repair. And sometimes, people were repaired in ways she never expected. RULE NUMBER TWO is a powerful firsthand account of providing comfort admidst the chaos of war, and of what it takes to endure.
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Editorial Reviews

Dave Grossman
One of the most amazing books I have ever read...
USA (Ret), author of On Killing and On Combat
Jay Freeman
A necessary but uncomfortable book for anyone wishing to understand.
Booklist
J. Ford Huffman
The welcome mat for memoirs by veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom might never wear out so long as they write with the sincerity of Squier Kraft...(who) wins respect with genuine empathy.
Military Times
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret) - former commander of U.S. Central Command
"Every American needs to read this."
J. Ford Huffman - Military Times
"The welcome mat for memoirs by veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom might never wear out so long as they write with the sincerity of Squier Kraft...(who) wins respect with genuine empathy."
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman - USA (Ret)
"One of the most amazing books I have ever read..."
Jay Freeman - Booklist
"A necessary but uncomfortable book for anyone wishing to understand."
From the Publisher
"Every American needs to read this."—General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret), former commander of U.S. Central Command

"One of the most amazing books I have ever read..."—Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, USA (Ret), author of On Killing and On Combat

"A necessary but uncomfortable book for anyone wishing to understand."—Jay Freeman, Booklist

"The welcome mat for memoirs by veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom might never wear out so long as they write with the sincerity of Squier Kraft...(who) wins respect with genuine empathy."—J. Ford Huffman, Military Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316022972
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/24/2007
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 471,325
  • File size: 507 KB

Meet the Author

Heidi Squier Kraft received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1996. After several years as a flight psychologist with the US Navy, she gave birth to twins in 2002. In February 2004, she deployed to Iraq for seven months. She left active duty in March 2005 after nine years in the Navy, and is now Deputy Program Coordinator, US Navy Combat Stress Control. She lives in San Diego with her husband and kids.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!!

    I loved this book. I have even loaned out my copy to other military wives I know. It is so hard to be the understanding wife that always says goodbye and watches our husband leave time and time again. And yet we have no clue what is going on or what our spouse is really going through. My husband has been in the Marines for almost 10 years now, and has been in Iraq for almost 4 years straight......it is so hard to be understanding to all his emotional changes when I don't understand at all.....
    This book helped me see what he is going through, so I can better understand his anxiety sometimes. I think I cried through the entire book......I felt so guilty for not being more understanding, and ashamed for not being more gentle with him. This really helped me feel what he was feeling.
    I think this book is perfect for any military spouse who might like a better understanding of what our spouse is going through....when they won't tell us, or can't tell us.

    Thank you!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Who Will Look After The Caregivers?

    The minute I got this book I had such a hard time putting it down that I finished it in no time flat.

    Dr. Heidi Kraft's book is at times thought provoking, poignant, bittersweet and sometimes has a tinge of dark humor to it. The narrative is often heart breaking and more than once I found myself teary eyed but it is also a powerful rendering of what we ask of others in our name.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Engrossing

    A wonderful, heartfelt book about a doctor's experience in Iraq during her deployment. Perhaps, because it was written by a psychologist, perhaps by a woman in a combat situation, or just because it is so honest-it was difficult to put down and had me close to tears a couple of times. Cant say enough about it-highly recommended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    You're There

    Heidi Kraft has written a touching,vivid book of the toll war takes on the military and families, but in a way that is highly readable and gripping. There are enough touches of humor to lessen the intensity of the story she tells. The book is very easy to get into. Her writing makes you feel that you are right there with her. This true story is an eye opening look at what it means to serve in time of war. A must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2007

    Extraordinary Book

    I learned about this book from a wonderful NPR piece. The interview was riveting as was the book. Not only was the book riveting, but it was horrifying and uplifting, often all at the same time. I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for the author to live through those events. I think each war produces a series of books that define the period, the horrors and the bravery. I am confident that as the catalogue of such books is developed in years to come to address this current war, Dr. Kraft's incredible book will be included and will always be highly regarded.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    Turn off the phone and TV, get comfotable and don't forget to grab the Kleenex! This book was an amazing read and I believe every American should add it to their bookshelves. Dr. Kraft displayed all the feelings and emotions of her time in Iraq beautifully nothing was lost. She explained military terminology well for those who are unfamiliar. This is the story of our times and these are your friends and neighbors! Thank you Dr. Kraft!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    I enjoyed this book very much. It's the first book EVER, that I finished in one day. It really took me on an emotional ride, as I remembered how worried I was that my wife, a naval psychologist, could have been put a similar situation which you overcame valiantly. I have told your story to many friends and loved ones. Thank you for your service.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    interesting

    An interesting look into the war.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Must Read!!

    Everyone who has or may have a loved one serving in our armed forces should read this book. Scary & unbelievable at times, also heart rendering.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    Patient

    I was a patient of Dr. Kraft's while in Iraq shortly after 2 very devasting events. I was medivac out of country because wounds from a mortar blast and later medically retired from the blast injuries. During the time she was with us she was a caring and unselfish listener. I am glad she had a chance to write about the experiences she had there. It helps others see a different aspect of war, not the media's bias. She is an inspiration to those you she served and who served around her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    Poignant and moving

    This book is beautifully written and its stories of what Iraq 'and war in general' is like at a personal level was moving. The pain that is shared amoung fellow soldiers in time of war is illustrated in a way that gives a new appreciation of what our men and women deal with emotionally.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2008

    Ease of a mother' heart to know there are people like Dr. Kraft for our Marines

    I want to thank Dr. Kraft for her book ¿Rule Number Two¿. My son joined the Marines last fall and graduated on December 7TH. Ooh-Rah! He majored in Psych in college and has always wanted to join the Marines. My brother was a Marine and served two tours in Vietnam . I was only about 4 years old when he was there and I still remember my mom crying at the airport. I also remember her setting a place at the holiday tables as a gesture of remembrance for my brother. This place setting she said, 'Was for all of us to remember where our brother is and to remember all the soldiers who are not at their family¿s holiday table.' Never did I ever think I would set a Marine place setting at my holdiay table, but I did these past holidays. As a mother, I want Dr. Kraft to know that it eases my heart to know that there are people like you dedicated to my son. It makes me feel calmer knowing that he has a place to turn to when he needs the support. Your book provides the support and comfort of what is real! I encourage all who have a family member serving for our country to read Dr. Kraft's book. It will allow you the window into their lives as they serve and help you understand their emotional returns to home'. This book is for all who care about our men and women serving now and for all our veterans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    Highly readable, rich in meaning

    Dr. Kraft has written an excellent and moving account of her experiences in Iraq. It is also a testament to the struggle of many working mothers, whether service members or not. As a psychologist (also woman and mother) in private practice with a largely military population, I recognized a similar thread in the many horror stories I have heard from active duty and family member clients alike. By writing from her perspective, we are able to gain a unique window into the clinician's world, many of us are not otherwise able to share. It is a part of the Iraq War story that needs to be told. Dr. Kraft's skill and expertise as a therapist are revealed repeatedly throughout the pages. She is someone I am honored to call a colleague in the field of mental health, and I thank her and her family for their service and sacrifice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2008

    Wow! Thanks for the account.

    What a powerful story. For me, this book was so very well written. The human story was compelling and compassionate. I could hardly put the book down. The factual emotions in your story helped me have some understanding of a whole other view of our American soldiers. They bravely perform as trained to protect our country and suffer physical injuries in the process. However, they also suffer emotional injuries from the sights they endure. Some are affected more than others and some just show it more than others. We should all be thankful for Doctors of your expertise being out in the field. And thankful that you also look out for one another. Besides your actual story having so much REAL meaning, I applaud the style of the writing. You told your story and did not, in any way, get side tracked with pros and cons of the war itself or with political sides. I am just an average citizen, raising my children, doing the average day to day, and picked up a really good book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    Superlative story about our fighting military and their medical help

    Dr. Kraft is now a retired Lieutenant Commander clinical psychologist in the United States Navy. She was called to Iraq several months after her twins were born, making her tour of duty an extra hard one. I can only try to visualize just how hard this tour was with her husband being a naval pilot and leaving those twins, while she was away serving our military. As most of us think we know how bad things are in Iraq, or were when Dr. Kraft was on duty, we have a hard time understanding how much our military officers and non-commissioned men and women are and were in need of her profession. She never knew when she would be called out of the shabby barracks to assist someone never knew when shells would rain down on her and her fellow soldiers never knew what she would see in the way of physical wounds such as missing limbs, eye, or other body parts had no way of knowing if the patient would pull through or be a vegetable but she always knew that her help as a psychologist and sometimes as a medical doctor or nurse would come into such dramatic use. During her tour of duty she contacted her family as much as possible but the use of any communications gear was in such short demand and it was shared by so many. Dr. Kraft had many a sleepless night, some due to noise from exploding shells or mortars, but many due to the hot conditions she had to endure in Iraq with temperatures regularly getting to 132º, making sleep extremely difficult. Sometimes she and some of her fellow staff would be called to a different location where problems existed. They had to talk soldiers down to earth when they wanted to commit suicide for a reason they felt they couldn¿t live with. Their own fellow medical professionals helped each other when things got too tough. When a soldier is lost on the battlefield or in the hospital setting, it is so physically and mentally difficult for the entire staff to stay concentrated on their objectivity. Dr. Kraft draws you into the scene wherever it may be and you will find yourself shaking your head as you wonder how the staff could survive through such terrible actions. Yes, you will probably shed a few tears reading through some of the very sentimental times both from the battlefield and from personal lives as they endured the unknown. When you finish Rule Number Two you will have been through an experience you will never forget and you will have even more respect for our men and women in our armed forces and what they endure. Thank you Dr. Heidi Squier Kraft for your excellent story and the way you told it to all of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2007

    Simply Amazing

    I felt so much emotion and pride when reading this book. I am not military, but do come from a military background. The experiences and situations expressed in this book are unbelievable but are true. It gives a real feeling of the struggles the men and women are going through in an attempt to protect our freedoms. I respect Dr. Kraft and all of the men and women serving our country. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2007

    Tremendous

    My daughter gave me this book as a Christmas gift and I finished it within two days. I feel the book brought someone like me who is not in the military the closest to possibly understanding the situation. Certainly, empathy is not possible, however, the book brings it close to home. My cousin who is in the Army served in Iraq from March '07 until Dec. '07 making it home in time for Christmas with her children. Her husband is still there. I anquished the whole time. She told me about the lack of color, etc. and I felt I understood when that was mentioned in the book. I can't wait to talk to my cousin about this book. I enjoyed this book so much I actually wrote the author a note telling her so! I had to thank her for writing such a vivid account of her experience and of course for her service to our country.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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