The Aging of America’s Warriors
Dr. Bridget C. Cantrell is the author of “Down Range to Iraq and Back,” “Once a Warrior: Wired For Life,” “Souls under Siege” and she now brings you “Through the Woods and Over the Hill: The Aging of America’s Warriors.” It is a book that will help us all understand how to plan for and deal with the unique combination of surviving combat and the personal changes that come with growing older.
Throughout the years, my doors have always been open to the veteran community. As most of you know, my dad was a WWII and a Korean conflict veteran. His struggles with trauma compelled me to pursue this area as my life’s work. The more I counsel our aging warriors, the more I understand the long term effects of trying to sort out the repercussions of past military experiences.
Imagine … you’re in the middle of combat, overwhelmed, perhaps overrun and out of ammo, pinned down in an ambush kill zone or caught out in the open by enemy fire … death is so close. Then, as quick as it began, the fighting abruptly ends. The warriors were prepared to step into an afterlife that never came.
Now decades later, these same warriors have survived to become senior citizens still with lingering questions about their experiences and are at the same time being handed new challenges. This book provides a guide to help those warriors find meaning and solutions for a better life in their golden years after living through it all.
Thank you for directly addressing my personal struggle. I felt as if you had somehow hit my life story – two tour Vietnam veteran, recently semi-retired from a large corporation, dealing with health issues of the aging and struggling to adjust to a new life. My struggle was recently intensified by my induction into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame, a huge honor, but one that forced all the long-buried emotions of Vietnam to resurface at a time that my mortality was hitting me directly in the face because of the retirement hoopla at work and my impending 68th birthday. I felt that no one, even my wife, could possibly understand how I was feeling about all of this; obviously you do. This book gave me a lot to think about – Thank you.
Maurice H. Docton
SEAL Team One, 1971-1974
“Through the Woods and Over the Hill” is not a book to sit idle on your shelf. It will serve as a useful guide to be referred to time and time again.