I was extremely fortunate to have collaborated with Dr. Jonathan Shay on a program called Restoring Community in the Workplace; which aimed to help our veterans find gainful employment as they transitioned from the military. While the endeavor did not pan out, the experience of working so closely with Dr. Shay is one that I cherish. How often do you get to learn from such an expert? Dr. Shay opened my eyes to how hard it is for some to find their path. Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials is the quintessential book on veteran transition. Dr. Shay uses the Odyssey to tell the story of a soldier’s homecoming and the difficulty of reintegration into society. While each person is different in their experiences, everyone in uniform will face some sort of transition. Navigating the waters of how to transition effectively and avoid the pitfalls, is clearly explained in brilliant detail. Using Homer’s classic is the perfect way to describe the process of coming home. As a veteran I am both fortunate to call Jonathan a friend and to have read such a book as I transition back into “civilian” life.
This is a must read for all veterans and citizens.
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Other outstanding books on the topic of the Vietnam War are definitely worth the read. I didn’t know as much as I thought I did until reading its history in detail.