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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Soft Spots: A Marine's Memoir of Combat and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

An excerpt from a new book, out in March 2009, which is a poignant and shattering story of PTSD in our new generation of veterans.

From Soft Spots
Clint Van Winkle
March 2009

We’d been told it would be a good idea to write a “death letter” in case we didn’t make it home alive. The First Sergeant said we should write the letter to our loved ones: wife, children, parents, or whoever. It didn’t need to be long, just a memo that would give the family closure in case we died on the battlefield.

He was brief, just told us to write, address them, and then to hand the envelopes over to him. He’d make sure they made it to where they needed to go once you stepped on a mine, got shot by a friend, or were blown apart by a rocket propelled grenade. Eighteen-year-old Marines had to drop their superman acts and face the truth of war--people die. As if a letter was going to make anyone feel better. We were left to ponder our young lives, to sum it up on notebook paper, then seal it in an envelope. No stamp required. The government would pay for that.


Michele Rosenthal said...

You sure got to the heart of the matter with this excerpt. Nice choice to show the humanity of it all at the most basic, poignant level.

Carol said...

Thanks for the post, Michele. I will post a book review after I get the complete book.

Faith said...

Soft Spots should be read by anyone concerned about a returning combat vet. It is a rare insight to what our vets are bringing home with them ... the invisible wounds of war. This also is a book for the combat vet to relate to. No-one who reads this book will ever forget it.

Anonymous said...

Soft Spots should be read by everyone who believes that we are not fighting this war at home. Just because we don't see the bloodshed up front and personal, doesn't mean we've managed to keep it off our soul and out of our homes.