Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 by LibraryAdministration
After the Civil War, men returning from combat suffered from “Soldier’s Heart.” In World War I, some experienced “Shell Shock” and in World War II it was labeled “Battle Fatigue.” During Vietnam, it was the “thousand-yard stare”. Since Vietnam, veterans have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Every war is different, but all leave indelible psychological, emotional and spiritual scars on those who serve and those who wait at home.
In 2013, Silicon Valley Reads explores the theme of “Invisible Wounds of War” and asks everyone in Santa Clara County to read and think about this timely topic. Join us in reading and discussing The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner, and Minefields of the Heart: A Mother’s Stories of a Son at War by Sue Diaz.
Both of this year’s selections are memoirs that deal with the invisible casualties of warfare. The two authors – a soldier and a soldier’s mother – share their personal stories describing what happens when soldiers return home from war and must meet the challenges of readjusting back to civilian life. Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East and was commander of an explosive ordinance disposal unit in Iraq. Diaz has documented the emotional rollercoaster she experienced during her son’s deployment.
Over the weeks ahead, we’ll provide questions to prompt reflection on the books and their themes. We’ll begin by focusing on The Long Walk, and then move on to Minefields of the Heart. Feel free to participate in the discussions by leaving your comments below.