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a review of Moving a Nation to Care when I bought a copy of it in Chicago last year.

I will say that when I finished it, I was entirely impressed by both the information and the presentation.  I heartily recommend it to anyone concerned about PTSD who does not already own a copy.

But this is not going to be a review as much as a small story.

I know that I occasionally talk about my friend who is a member of the Republican Committee for Multnomah County (he says the rest of them make him look like a raging liberal).  We are not particularly close friends, but we have science fiction interests in common, quite apart from a passion for history (he is, by training, a military historian), and we very often end up having quite interesting conversations when we run into each other - I suspect he enjoys them too, or he would be less willing to indulge me.

The last time I saw him was during the time I was actually reading Moving a Nation to Care.  He was manning his table in the hucksters room at the local science fiction convention.  Since he knows I'm interested in World War I, and I know he enjoys teaching, we were having a good old time.  Something he said brought the book to mind, so I told him about it.

He (knowing my personal obsession) said that there were a great many men who suffered from the same thing in World War I.  I said that from what I knew about it already, I was quite willing to agree with that point.

He said that there were relatively fewer men who suffered from it in World War II.  Considering the changes in training and tactics between the two wars, I didn't find that particularly difficult to believe.

He said that there were even fewer from Viet Nam.  I'm not so willing to concede that point, because of the vastly fewer numbers of soldiers actually involved - but speaking strictly according to the numbers, I didn't feel it needful to argue.

He said that the Iraq/Afganistan veterans were even fewer as far as PTSD went (which is true as far as it goes, for much the same reason as what he said about Viet Nam), and that people eventually recovered from it even without treatment.

I had just opened my mouth to ask him a question when a customer walked up, and I never got the chance.

The question I wanted to ask was:  Why allow the waste of time, money and manpower that comes about by leaving soldiers (or anyone traumatized) to get over it themselves when safe and generally effective treatments are both available and cheap in comparison?

Moving a Nation to Care answers that question quite well, in my opinion.

Originally posted to loggersbrat on Wed Jul 09, 2008 at 12:28 PM PDT.

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