Edward Tick is a clinical psychotherapist who has been healing war veterans for more than thirty years. He is the author of The Practice of Dream Healing. In this hard-hitting and powerfully persuasive work, Tick exposes the terrible damage to the hearts, minds, and souls of soldiers that comes from the exaltation of war. Listen to these cogent words:
"We suffer war's aftermath generation after generation, yet from that suffering we fail to correct our mythologizing. We rush to engage in war, to report its triumphs and losses, and to celebrate it in our histories, yet we fail to discern our idealization of it. We continue to believe that war is divinely sanctioned, that it is God's instrument, that it is one God's ways of contending with one another for dominion over the earth and its inhabitants. We revel in war's meaning and elevate our lost loved ones to heroic status while denying its true costs to our antagonists and ourselves. It seems as though we are compelled to create and participate in the horror of war in order to live out its mythology."
The book points out the irony that while we pay heroic lipservice to veterans, the actual treatment of many GI's who have fought overseas has been a nightmare. The stories told in this book by Vietnam veterans and others makes the blood boil.
For those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, the hell they have been through does not end when they return home. They replay their experiences abroad again and again. Tick discusses the war-wounded souls of these men and women who can’t sleep or hold a job. In addition, many of these individuals feel that they have no center or reason to go on living.
In thought-provoking chapters on the soul's homeward journey, purification and cleansing, the healing power of storytelling, restitution in the family and the nation, initiation as a warrior, and war in religion and spirituality, Tick spells out ways to heal the souls of these men and women. This is an important book on the treatment of veterans and on the national shadow that has been downplayed by journalists and other cultural commentators on the many American wars.