Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Home Front" by Kristin Hannah

Early in Jolene's homecoming, Mila says: "We all knew how hard it would be have you gone, but no one told us how hard it would be when you came back." What do you think about this comment?  Do we romanticize homecomings and thereby somehow set ourselves up for diappointment?  What could her family have done to make Jolene's return an easier transition?

For further informaiton about the author, check out:

Photographer Lalage Snow's photo series "We Are the Not Dead":

A series of portraits of British soldiers over a period of eight months, before, during and after their operational deployment in Afghanistan. The portraits are captioned with the thoughts and feelings of each individual. They speak of fear, being injured, losing a brother soldier, missing home, excitement, coming home, and what life is like on the frontline

As the body count of British servicemen killed or wounded rose and the political ramifications of the British army’s presence in Afghanistan became increasingly convoluted, more and more soldiers felt like they didn’t have a voice, or at least, weren’t being listened to. ‘We Are The Not Dead’ is an attempt at giving the brave young men and women the chance to speak.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunites to help veterans:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I liked the book. It was well written and documented for accuracy. It's a story of today regarding veterans and their families. PTSD is much more prevalent than we the public know about.

Jolene joined the reserves after the death of her parents. She had no relatives or home. She found stability and friends in the military. Her husband knew about her service before they were married. Neither one thought she would be called to active duty.

Her home and family was run by military rules and schedules. This arrangement didn't seem to bother Michael until his father passed away and then he seemed to have problems adjusting to private life.

When Michael heard Jolene was called to active duty he appeared to be stunned. He knew she was in the reserves. What part of "Army Reserves" didn't he understand? This meant she could be called to active duty at any time. Jolene's dedication to her Army family wouldn't let her try to reject this call to duty.

Michael had been seriously shaken by the death of his father. He buried himself in his work and isolated himself from his family just before Jolene was called to active duty. He may have been in need of a grief counselor. He blurted out to Jolene he didn't love her anymore and this is how she left for overseas duty with only her closest friend Tami to confide her most private thoughts.

Michael finally stepped up to the bat taking care of daughters and house with help from his mother. He also managed a murder case. This case was his introduction to the words Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He learned about this condition while working on Keith's murder trial.

Jolene was going through hell and high water because of her injuries. Dr. Cornwater was what she needed to help her condition.

This book covered current issues that we hear about or read about in our newspapers daily. Time will tell if military hospitals will help them adequately. In this book it appears that Jolene is in a private rehabilitation facility. The average reserve veteran cannot afford this.

Would I be able to pick up and leave my children as Jolene did? No!

Why did Jolene go? She was with the group so long and attached to all that she felt the Reserve was also her family and she owed all of tehm her duty. The reserve was her only home and family after her parents died.