[March 10, 2018] For months, after each return to the U.S. from a year-long tour of combat in Iraq, I would talk with folks and explain to them that it was “weird” to be back home. I would relay the similarities I had personally heard from other combat veterans from the War on Terror. My explanation to them was that we were just unwinding, relearning to relax, again getting acquainted, etc. to explain our confusion and our unease at reintegrating. Now a book by Sebastian Junger (journalist, author, and filmmaker) attempts to explain what I had been unclear about all these years. He not only provides sound reasoning but does so without being fatalistic or fanatical about it. The book has been out for only less than 2 years but has garnered critical acclaim in its own right. It rightfully makes my Reading List.
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, Sebastian Junger, 2016.
Sebastian Junger explains in his well-written and researched book that people are stronger when we come together for a purpose and how that can be achieved in a modern world where the loss of tight-knit communities are the standard of modernity. One of the central themes is the concept that soldiers in combat have such intense experiences of interdependency with their fellow soldiers that they often struggle upon their return to civilian life where this sense is less and “community” is much more dispersed. Junger explains that when a soldier returns from war that their assimilation back into society is disrupted by the very nature of a “less community” community. This, he writes, entices those in the community to treat soldiers as victims rather than bringing them back into the fold. The book is not about war, the military, or PTSD (although civilians can have it too), but about the loss of belonging and the loss of caring about our fellow man. Highly recommended, especially for those who have a desire to learn more about community and its connection to well-adjusted adults and for military veterans.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map