military books by servicemembers.



David W. Powell

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David W. Powell, USMC, “enlisted for a tour of duty in April 1966 with the US Marines after receiving an imminent draft notice. Believing he would be able to leverage his existing skills as a computer programmer, he never thought all they would see on his resume was his Karate expertise. Even less that he would wind up serving as a Rocket man in the jungles of Da Nang and Chu Lai for a 13 month tour in hell.  

David’s journey from naive civilian to battle-hardened combat veteran shows us all how fragile our humanity really is. In addition to killing the enemy on the field of battle, he was witness to countless cruelties including murder both cold-blooded and casual, cowardice under fire, and a callous disregard for life beyond most people’s imagination. With each new insult, he lost a little bit of his soul, clinging to his Bible as his only solace while equally certain of his own demise.


Upon returning to civilian life after a two year enlistment, he found himself with nightmares during sleep, intrusive thoughts while awake, a hypervigilant stance combined with an exaggerated startle reaction, and a seeming inability to control basic emotions like anger and sadness. The price he paid for what would only be diagnosed decades later as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was broken marriages and relationships, inability to hold down jobs leading to bankruptcy, alcohol abuse, and having to hide the service he willingly gave to his own country. In 1989, David eventually recovered through a simple but powerful technique known as Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) and is now symptom-free.”  David E. Powell is the author of My Tour In Hell: A Marine's Battle with Combat Trauma.

My Tour In Hell: A Marine's Battle with Combat Trauma (Reflections of History, Vol. 1)
David W. Powell  More Info

Sam Vaknin, the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited said of My Tour In Hell: A Marine's Battle with Combat Trauma, “This book is a must read for armchair strategists and glib military analysts. War is not about strategic brilliance or courage. War is about feces and blood, mud and inhumane cruelty, as the first pages of this chilling memoir make clear. Battle strips the thin veneer of civilization that sets us apart from other species. It is about naked survival and triumphant aggression. War is about killing the other guy with your bare hands if need be and, above all, it is about staying alive, doing what it takes to make it through.


Every trauma specialist should read this tome. You can take the soldier out of the war zone but you can't take the war out of the soldier. The unmitigated, sadistic, self-satisfied violence of combat lurks in the tortured minds of millions of veterans the world over as do the shame and the crippling fear. This book offers one of the best, most intimate description of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that I have ever read precisely because the author is a fellow sufferer, not a smug psychiatrist or theoretician. His style of prose - direct, matter-of-fact, and unflinchingly honest - also helps.


But, above all, this book is about hope. There are glimpses of humanity amidst the worst atrocities and there are effective therapies to coax the victims of war back into peace and life. It worked for the author who has endured decades of trauma-induced ruination and instability in everything from marriage to business. If he was salvaged, so can we all.”

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