Helen Garland tells how war veterans like her husband suffered from PTSD

Helen Garland talks about the last book written by her late husband, Joseph Garland. Like other WWII vets, Garland suffered invisible wounds that never healed.

Combat PTSD: What are the Symptoms?
Mar. 6, 2006
If you’re a returning combat veteran having some difficulty readjusting to civilian life, you may be wondering what’s going on. Why am I angry all the time? Why am I feeling detached?

Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
Book authored by Jonathan Shay recommended by our guest

Unknown Soldiers: Reliving WWII in Europe
Acclaimed author Joseph E. Garland presents World War II through the eyes of a close-knit infantry platoon who braved Nazi fire to stake out the front lines of the Allied campaigns.

On page 6 of his book, Garland skillfully connects both the dangers and supposed nobility of engaging in battle by including a prescient poem written by his father prior to the onset of World War I:

“A sovereign speaks a word; princes command,
And war, black as the plague, spreads through the land

You are the pawn, moved by a mightier hand;
You are the Christian martyr, living brand
That lights the kingly orgy of that king
To whom YOU homage bring.
This is your lot, oh Common Man; is it your choice?
When war takes all, do YOU rejoice?
Father and brother and livelihood,
Leaving all evil where was once all good?
Another commands your destiny.
Are you less fitted for that task than he?
Freedom and life are offered you; now choose,
Not overlong debate, nor yet refuse,
And when the stricken land raises its head,
May you, rising from burial of your dead,
Stand by your brother, teaching him to see —
YOU the director of your destiny.”

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