"Anthropologists Hautziner (Colorado College) and Scandlyn (Univ. of Colorado, Denver) offer an important, well-written, and thoroughly research work regarding the culture of returning soldiers. The emphasis is on post-9/11, specifically focused on PTSD. ... The major dichotomy is between PTSD (a mental condition, the legitimacy often challenged by fellow soldiers) and traumatic brain injury (physical and observable). Reentry involved counseling (military and civilian) and town hall meetings, among other efforts. The authors do not answer questions, but stimulate many. A profound work and must-read for scholars interested in the military. Summing Up
- J. Stanley, emeritus, Towson University
"In this book, Hautzinger and Scandlyn lift off layers of cultural practice--social rank, stigma, and studied silence--that inhibit individual and collective healing from war's injuries when American soldiers come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, their carefully researched ethnographic account of the Fort Carson and Colorado Springs communities serves to prod public discourse into the essential but uncomfortable questions of what all of us actually pay in exchange for war and the pursuit of a narrowly defined 'security.'"
- Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Center for Health Security
"In this readable and engaging book, Scandlyn and Hautzinger use rich ethnography to push beyond a narrowly defined focus on PTSD and raise thoughtful questions about the needs of post-9/11 service members and their families and communities. The authors illuminate the complex impacts of war for a small city far away from the conflicts but central to the American war effort. It is common to talk about the "ripple effects" of war--how its moral, spiritual, psychological, political and economic consequences spread far beyond those most directly involved--but rare to provide such a careful and scholarly look at how that diffusion occurs. Hautzinger and Scandlyn have written an essential book for anyone seeking to better understand the true impact of the post-9/11 wars for American service members and society."
- Erin Finley, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
"For decades now, and since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular, one single term—posttraumatic stress disorder—has been given the massive task of describing the complex impacts of war on military servicemembers and the people who share their lives. But as Hautzinger and Scandlyn show, in narratives rendered with both care and urgency, those impacts often overspill the neat boundaries of mental illness, medical diagnosis, and acronyms that roll off the tongue. This book lets us know just how much is at stake for soldiers, veterans, military families, and civilians alike in the language, stories and categories we use to make sense of war."
- Kenneth T. MacLeish, Vanderbilt University, author of Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community
"This is such a valuable book. Scandlyn and Hautzinger show us why the US military at first denied PTSD's almost epidemic proportions and then embraced it to the exclusion of other post-war health costs. They also enable us to listen to women as veterans' wives and to townspeople protesting military base expansion. So much here will stick with me."
- Cynthia Enloe, Clark University; author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War