Warrior by Shauna Springer

Psychologist Shauna Springer’s Warrior: How to Support Those Who Protect Us (Armin Lear Press, 308 pp. $15.95, paper; $10.99, Kindle), is a well-constructed offering that could be the syllabus for a college psychology course, as well as a how-to primer for those involved in the emotional support and care of veterans. It is a well-reasoned and well-presented review of, and argument for, a different way of addressing the needs of today’s veterans. Throughout, Springer stresses that what she advocates also applies to first responders and police—the people who protect the rest of us.

It’s a short book with 14 pages of excellent end-notes and a 24-page section called “Tools for Application,” in which Springer offers questions and discussion topics to be used in conjunction with each of the ten chapters.

Early in her book Springer talks about her classroom training as well as her on-the-job experiences down in the dirt with fighters, and her well-earned nickname, Doc Springer. She explains that trust is an important factor in treating and helping veterans. In many instances, she says, those who have been in wars have small windows of trust after returning home from wars.

Springer draws upon years of experience in private and institutional practice, a good measure of it with the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of her specialties is current treatment options and protocols for the conditions that potentially lead to veteran suicides. It’s an electric thread that she weaves throughout her book, in which Springer also writes about innovative treatments. Many of her chapters could stand alone, almost as pamphlets.

Shauna Springer

Springer writes about universal principles she has developed during her career. She does not use the word “hero.” Instead she advocates using the words “veteran,” “soldier,” “service member,” “first responder,” and “warfighter” to describe her patients, because that’s the way they see themselves.

This is a book that should be required reading for all veterans and those who work with them. The information in this booksneeds to be known by all who care.

The author’s website is docshaunaspringer.com

–Tom Werzyn

When the War Never Ends by Leah Wizelman

Leah Wizelman, a biologist and researcher at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, specializes in the psycho physiological aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder. In her new book, When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families (Rowman & Littlefield, 176 pp., $32), Wizelman presents thirty-two of these voices: short, first person accounts by veterans from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Germany who have PTSD. The voices also include several spouses of the veterans.

Several of the veterans served in the Vietnam War. All describe in intimate (and sometimes painful) detail the effects of PTSD on their daily lives.

“Talking to a therapist seems to be helping,” says one Vietnam War Marine Corps veteran, “also being on an antidepressant called Fluoxetine. As for my family, the best support they can give me is to be there for me and to try to understand. I hope to get my life back.”

—Marc Leepson