Mercy warriors: saving lives under fire

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Donna R. Combs, 2003 - History - 251 pages
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As Dr. Jonathan Shay pointed out in his book, ACHILLES IN VIETNAM, men and women who have faced the dangers of combat are changed, and some never recover from the experience. This book looks at what combat did to the men and women who served in non-combat roles that formed the medical chain in Vietnam. Over 160 men and women from the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy discuss their most terrible moments at war, including nurses, doctors and Graves Registration. Enlisted Docs provide insight into the thinking of trying to carry out their jobs in a war zone that The History Channel labeled as one of the military's "suicide missions" (1998). Personnel in the medical chain justify their desire of performing medicine while attracting enemy fire for doing so, whether it was on the battlefield and MedEvac choppers, or in field hospitals and battalion aide stations. The statistics compiled by the men and women who served in Vietnam are unbelievably high in their incredible ability to stop death and promote recovery for the men actually carrying out foreign policy by fighting the war against the Communists. But over the years, there has been a tremendous cost paid for the work they did. Most of the nurses and enlisted men went on to achieve greater academic goals, and many entered professional fields of endeavors, only to sink under the morass of depression and anger from the war's experience. Now, 30 years later, many cannot work at their chosen professions because of the readjustment problems that result from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is their story about war and their readjustment challenges, and about the onset and effects of PTSD from that experience. "Gives a picture which all commanders need to know and appreciate." - General Ray Davis, USMC, (Ret.), Congressional Medal of Honor winner and Commanding General, 3rd Marine Division, RVN, 1968-1969. "This book is a valuable report about an aspect of the Vietnam War. More importantly it provides much-needed information about the 'Docs.' Certainly therapists and counselors of veterans from any combat situation need to have this information." - Roger L. Patterson, Ph. D., psychologist, VHA.

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The Layers of Medical Help
The Social Link
The Military Doctors

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