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Down Range: To Iraq and Back

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There are some things people don't get over easily -- pain from the past is one of them.  Trauma changes people: It changes values, priorities, worldviews, and most of all … it changes how we relate to others. Painful, life-threatening experiences take people beyond the normal day-to-day life, leaving them stuck behind defensive walls that keep them from re-entering the wor There are some things people don't get over easily -- pain from the past is one of them.  Trauma changes people: It changes values, priorities, worldviews, and most of all … it changes how we relate to others. Painful, life-threatening experiences take people beyond the normal day-to-day life, leaving them stuck behind defensive walls that keep them from re-entering the world they have always known as “home”. So how does it happen? How do we lose the loving closeness with those around us? And better yet, how do we re-gain what pain has robbed us of?  "Down Range"” is not only a book explaining war trauma, it is required reading for anyone seriously interested about how to make healthy transitions from war to peace. Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. and Vietnam veteran, Chuck Dean have joined forces to present this vital information and resource manual for both returning troops and their loved ones. Here you will find answers, explanations, and insights as to why so many combat veterans suffer from flashbacks, depression, fits of rage, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, and other troubling aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


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There are some things people don't get over easily -- pain from the past is one of them.  Trauma changes people: It changes values, priorities, worldviews, and most of all … it changes how we relate to others. Painful, life-threatening experiences take people beyond the normal day-to-day life, leaving them stuck behind defensive walls that keep them from re-entering the wor There are some things people don't get over easily -- pain from the past is one of them.  Trauma changes people: It changes values, priorities, worldviews, and most of all … it changes how we relate to others. Painful, life-threatening experiences take people beyond the normal day-to-day life, leaving them stuck behind defensive walls that keep them from re-entering the world they have always known as “home”. So how does it happen? How do we lose the loving closeness with those around us? And better yet, how do we re-gain what pain has robbed us of?  "Down Range"” is not only a book explaining war trauma, it is required reading for anyone seriously interested about how to make healthy transitions from war to peace. Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. and Vietnam veteran, Chuck Dean have joined forces to present this vital information and resource manual for both returning troops and their loved ones. Here you will find answers, explanations, and insights as to why so many combat veterans suffer from flashbacks, depression, fits of rage, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, and other troubling aspects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

30 review for Down Range: To Iraq and Back

  1. 5 out of 5

    Steve Woods

    This book is useful. It is pretty simple and straightforward and hence will be fairly accessible to its intended audience. In that it serves. The importance of a soldier returning from combat to note the details of what they experience as a normal and common response to arduous and sometimes traumatic experience is of paramount importance. Otherwise the sense of being different and alone and somehow flawed develops into an inward spiraling vise that will ultimately destroy the individual and any This book is useful. It is pretty simple and straightforward and hence will be fairly accessible to its intended audience. In that it serves. The importance of a soldier returning from combat to note the details of what they experience as a normal and common response to arduous and sometimes traumatic experience is of paramount importance. Otherwise the sense of being different and alone and somehow flawed develops into an inward spiraling vise that will ultimately destroy the individual and anything much that is worthwhile in their life. It expands beyond the parameters of what was experienced in combat drawing negatively reinforcing experience into its vortex as the decline progresses. Things are not today as they were after Vietnam, when almost nothing of the effects of trauma on combat veteran's was acknowledged. there is a plethora of information available today not all of it good. The gushy emotionalism that seems to be so much part of the American character when it comes to military service these days (overcompensation for the responses given post Vietnam) sometimes obscures what may be of worth to the individual. That could be a fatal flaw, from what I hear there are few returning service personnel, particularly if they have experienced combat who subscribe to that particular hallelujiah chorus. Most are hard nosed experienced soldiers if they have been in combat. That tends to cut away the bullshit and the self serving emotional drivel that evidences from time to time in this book. Most are simply looking for a way to make things work, to integrate their experiences into a functioning person, they are not so much inclined to the view that there is wrong that needs to be fixed. parts of this book could help in that though it is very thin on detail and could onl;y conceivably ever be a starting point. Each of us has to make their own way through this particular maze, and the institutionalization of the very human capacity to cope with extreme experience and the involvement of do gooders who think they have the answers just complicates life for those who are negotiating that maze and sometimes saddles them with a sense of being broken that is just not necessary for their recovery but very necessary for the continued thriving of institutionalized care with all its hangers on who have popped up on the tail of this particular skein of human experience.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Brang

    I'd rate this book 5 stars out of 5. It is a good read for seasoned Veteran's, active duty troops who have not yet been deployed to a war zone, recent combat Veteran's who may be struggling and family members of loved ones of deployed troops. It extensively covers behavior changes you may have experienced or witnessed in loved ones, thoroughly explains the phenomenon of PTSD, and discusses what's normal, what's not and what kind of behavior should signal red flag warnings. I appreciate the discu I'd rate this book 5 stars out of 5. It is a good read for seasoned Veteran's, active duty troops who have not yet been deployed to a war zone, recent combat Veteran's who may be struggling and family members of loved ones of deployed troops. It extensively covers behavior changes you may have experienced or witnessed in loved ones, thoroughly explains the phenomenon of PTSD, and discusses what's normal, what's not and what kind of behavior should signal red flag warnings. I appreciate the discussion of the reality and impact deployments, especially to war zones, will have differing life changing effects on each individual. The resources provided at the back of the book may be helpful for those reaching for a lifeline. The quotes from real case studies reflect the importance of awareness the general population and the troops themselves need to encompass. Mental preparation before deployments may be just as important as physical preparations. A healthy mind supports a healthy body and vice versa.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scott Paxman

    The information provided is useful and written in colloquial terms understandable to all. Yet, there are many grammatical mistakes. For example, many sentences have misplaced words and an awkward or incorrect structure. When one sees the chapter heading “Sisteen” instead of sixteen, it makes one question the professional time and effort put into the book. Some Tactics Given: Recognize your wounds, identify triggers, talk about your thoughts and feelings, connect with a support group, and practice The information provided is useful and written in colloquial terms understandable to all. Yet, there are many grammatical mistakes. For example, many sentences have misplaced words and an awkward or incorrect structure. When one sees the chapter heading “Sisteen” instead of sixteen, it makes one question the professional time and effort put into the book. Some Tactics Given: Recognize your wounds, identify triggers, talk about your thoughts and feelings, connect with a support group, and practice self-care: music, reading, journaling, fellowship through church or community involvement, hobbies, excersice, nature, social interactions with trusted friends, maintaining a schedule and to-do list, setting and goals. All in all, the book is successful in targeting its specific audience, but the authors’ credibility is tainted by its several errors.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Atlantis

    A book for families who are in the military or associated with that have experienced combat. There is some functional information in here but should not be used without therapy and medical support. This would be a companion or enrichment of treatment and not a replacement. Donated to my LFL.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Tatu

    I thought this book was slightly insightful to the civilian reader. However, as it is written for returning OIF Veterans, I felt that it was very validating and resourceful. I will definitely suggest it to my boyfriend (Ex OIF Marine) to read as I believe he can find some use for it. It includes in-depth explanations of PTSD and how to better handle it (for the vet and civilian).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I couldn't decide if I should give this book three or four stars; but I think I'll settle on the three. All in all it was a good book. I did not dislike it. It was informative and very simply written. It reads almost like a manual (again an easy to read one.) I definitely think that family members of service members and even soldiers should pick this book up; it's not going to hurt to have read this one. Now here's what I didn't like about the book. It's written in second person perspective (whi I couldn't decide if I should give this book three or four stars; but I think I'll settle on the three. All in all it was a good book. I did not dislike it. It was informative and very simply written. It reads almost like a manual (again an easy to read one.) I definitely think that family members of service members and even soldiers should pick this book up; it's not going to hurt to have read this one. Now here's what I didn't like about the book. It's written in second person perspective (which isn't bad: don't get me wrong) but there are two authors (both with different writing styles) trying to talk to you at the same time. So the books reads a little funny. In addition, there are a lot of references to other "workbooks" that go along with this book. So if you're looking for a really detailed book about what to expect when a soldier returns home, this isn't the one. "Down Range" isn't a very detailed book in the way one might expect going in; it's more like a summary of combined books and experiences. Furthermore, I felt that it was repetitive; however, some people may like the fact that they stress certain points several times, I didn't. Overall I recommend picking up this book even though it's more like a summary. It's a great jumping point to find more detailed information on the subject matter. This book would do great to base a class on, and get people talking: start a dialog about the topic of PTSD and Combat Stress.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I did not read this from the prospective of a soldier/airman, but from the prospective of a spouse. A spouse that HAS been shot at but does not suffer from PTSD. I believe that this is a helpful book, even if PTSD is not a factor. Because whether or not someone has PTSD, war still changes people, and some of the changes with a combat veteran mirror PTSD symptoms. This book was given out to us at the "before you go" presentation prior to the deployment. I think it can be read before leaving, which I did not read this from the prospective of a soldier/airman, but from the prospective of a spouse. A spouse that HAS been shot at but does not suffer from PTSD. I believe that this is a helpful book, even if PTSD is not a factor. Because whether or not someone has PTSD, war still changes people, and some of the changes with a combat veteran mirror PTSD symptoms. This book was given out to us at the "before you go" presentation prior to the deployment. I think it can be read before leaving, which would probably be the most helpful, but I read this months after the deployment end. The main audience is the deployed person, but I found it useful as a spouse. Because I wasn't there, I feel it was a good reminder that everything won't/can't be roses after a homecoming. That's not always a bad thing, but it's a necessary lesson to learn. It's a quick read; I read it, my spouse has not, so I don't have the "professional" opinion available, so to speak.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This book is written for soldiers (or their loved ones) who think they might be struggling with PTSD. The book goes over the signs and symptoms of PTSD and offers some self help tips as well as pointing to resources that someone would need to deal with their disorder. The authors use expertise and experience to connect to the soldiers on their level. One author is a Vietnam vet who tries to relate to the soldiers through common military language which for the most part is endearing but can becom This book is written for soldiers (or their loved ones) who think they might be struggling with PTSD. The book goes over the signs and symptoms of PTSD and offers some self help tips as well as pointing to resources that someone would need to deal with their disorder. The authors use expertise and experience to connect to the soldiers on their level. One author is a Vietnam vet who tries to relate to the soldiers through common military language which for the most part is endearing but can become strained in places and sometimes down right funny (I believe the phrase was "'humping' [ruck marching:] with your buddies"). Despite this fault the book is easy to read and soldiers wondering about their difficulties readjusting would find relief in its pages.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was helpful. I think a lot of it I was already aware of, but it was good to brush up. Even though one reads the information it is much more difficult to put into practice. The stories in there are also a little more difficult to read for me. Even though I knew the horrors, it is hard to be reminded of them like that and then reminded again that our loved ones are living through that, and it isn't just a story for them. I would recommend this to all who are in or have family in the military. This was helpful. I think a lot of it I was already aware of, but it was good to brush up. Even though one reads the information it is much more difficult to put into practice. The stories in there are also a little more difficult to read for me. Even though I knew the horrors, it is hard to be reminded of them like that and then reminded again that our loved ones are living through that, and it isn't just a story for them. I would recommend this to all who are in or have family in the military.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    I received this book and started reading it when I thought I was about to deploy. That deployment was canceled, but I decided to finish reading the book in any case, to get a feel for what I could expect to experience when I do return from an eventual deployment. Though Army and infantry-focused, I think it is a valuable book for all deploying military members and their families, guiding them through the redeployment phase and the often difficult transition, especially from a combat zone.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This book came at SUCH a good time. It is geared for the soldier coming back from being deployed in a war zone and for their families and friends. So much is explained in this small book... it is packed with info so far. I plan to finish it tonight so I'll add to this review if more is needed then. A God send in my opinion. I'm giving my copy to my son and his wife and if I had money, I'd buy a copy for every one we know! This book came at SUCH a good time. It is geared for the soldier coming back from being deployed in a war zone and for their families and friends. So much is explained in this small book... it is packed with info so far. I plan to finish it tonight so I'll add to this review if more is needed then. A God send in my opinion. I'm giving my copy to my son and his wife and if I had money, I'd buy a copy for every one we know!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wendroz

    Well I like war even less now. This book discuss the struggles the soldiers face coming back to the States. It discuss the difficulties with workplace reentry, families and coping with PTSD. It is written by a PhD and a vetran of the viet nam war. Not light reading - I had to re read Harry Potter after this :-)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Keith Garner

    If you have a soldier that has been to war, this book is awesome, it really helps put things in perspective. It is good for close family members as well to help them too understand how to handle the inevitable changes that come from the demons of war.

  14. 5 out of 5

    suzy

    Really informative, especially about PTSD and the lasting effects of experiencing combat. I liked the soldiers' stories from different wars and how what they experienced continues to haunt them. Enlightening. Really informative, especially about PTSD and the lasting effects of experiencing combat. I liked the soldiers' stories from different wars and how what they experienced continues to haunt them. Enlightening.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ginabug1nonly

    Good insight...very helpful to soldiers and their families about what a war time deployment can do.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Moss

    A scientific perspective on mental battles that warriors endure. -- Respectfully, Stuart Moss

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    Very well stated presentation regarding PTSD and ways to approach reintegration to society and family life.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kay Webb

    GREAT for understanding how to help your soldier that's been to Iraq. GREAT for understanding how to help your soldier that's been to Iraq.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    A helpful book for people suffering from mental difficulties caused by war.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    # Own in paperback. NC FS: "I think most little boys dream of one day becoming soldiers." LS: "Please take the a moment to fill our this form and pass it on to your course facilitator." # Own in paperback. NC FS: "I think most little boys dream of one day becoming soldiers." LS: "Please take the a moment to fill our this form and pass it on to your course facilitator."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steve Holley

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Alvarado

  24. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maddison Campbell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scooterskitten Harrison

  27. 5 out of 5

    Allan Arroyo

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lou Powell

  30. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

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