Soft Spots

Soft Spots

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Recounts the author's experiences as a marine sergeant in the Iraq War and his battles with alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder after returning to the United States.

McMillan Palgrave
A powerful, haunting, provocative memoir of a Marine in Iraq—and his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a system trying to hide the damage done

Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle flew to war on Valentine’s Day 2003. His battalion was among the first wave of troops that crossed into Iraq, and his first combat experience was the battle of Nasiriyah, followed by patrols throughout the country, house to house searches, and operations in the dangerous Baghdad slums.

But after two tours of duty, certain images would not leave his memory—a fragmented mental movie of shooting a little girl; of scavenging parts from a destroyed, blood-spattered tank; of obliterating several Iraqi men hidden behind an ancient wall; and of mistakenly stepping on a “soft spot,” the remains of a Marine killed in combat. After his return home, Van Winkle sought help at a Veterans Administration facility, and so began a maddening journey through an indifferent system that promises to care for veterans, but in fact abandons many of them.

From riveting scenes of combat violence, to the gallows humor of soldiers fighting a war that seems to make no sense, to moments of tenderness in a civilian life ravaged by flashbacks, rage, and doubt, Soft Spots reveals the mind of a soldier like no other recent memoir of the war that has consumed America.



Blackwell North Amer
Marine Sergeant Clint Van Winkle left for war on Valentine's Day 2003. His battalion was among the first wave of troops that crossed into Iraq, and his first combat experience was the battle of Nasiriyah, followed by patrols throughout the country, house-to-house searches, and operations in the dangerous Baghdad slums.
However, after he returned home, certain images would not leave his memory - a fragmented mental movie of shooting a little girl; of scavenging parts from a destroyed, blood-spattered Amphibious Assault Vehicle; of obliterating several Iraqi men hidden behind an ancient wall; of bodies lying on streets, and the feral dogs that fed on them; and of mistakenly stepping on a "soft spot," the remains of a Marine killed in combat. Van Winkle was afflicted by flashbacks and sudden rages that he tried to suppress with alcohol. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he sought help at a Veterans Administration hospital, where he received a cursory examination, a few pills, and a pat on the back. As Van Winkle fought to suppress the horrid images, he also struggled to find a place in an indifferent society that had little sympathy for the war he'd fought, the friends he'd lost, or the duty he'd upheld.
From riveting scenes of combat violence, to the gallows humor of Marines fighting a war that seems to make no sense, to moments of tenderness in a civilian life ravaged by flashbacks, rage, and doubt, Soft Spots reveals the mind of a combat veteran like no other recent memoir of the war that has consumed America.

Baker
& Taylor

Traces the experiences of an Iraq War marine from his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder to what he believes to be the government's efforts to hide the amount of damage that the war has inflicted; in an account that describes his harrowing memories of deaths on both sides and his abandonment by the Veterans Administration system.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St. Martin's Press, 2009
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780312378936
0312378939
Branch Call Number: 956.7044 VANWI VANWI

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