Top positive review
The Opinion of a Vietnam Veteran and Retired Cop
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2017
In 1969 I enlisted to do my Patriotic Duty, and chose to be an MP while performing that duty. I was in Vietnam (25th Inf Div for the first 14 months) from January 1970 to March 1972. After the first few months I surely had a monster case of PTSD because that was about when everything began to seem “normal”, but there wasn’t a term for it back then. When I came back from Vietnam my enlistment was up. I got off the plane (Flying Tiger airline), received a meal involving a very tough steak, and was essentially told to “go home and be normal”. My brother, now a retired Marine, had done his tour in Vietnam. I got a job where he worked (he later re-enlisted and completed his 20 for retirement). Several other employees were also Vietnam vets but we never talked about it.
My job involved hard labor and was just what I needed because I really wasn’t fit for polite society for the first year. After a year and a half I applied at several local law enforcement agencies and was hired by one with Civil Service. While working full time I also went back to college and got my degree in Criminal Justice. The image of the Vietnam Vet back then was of a deranged person who climbed onto a rooftop and started shooting people. I didn’t discuss Vietnam, or my recurring “Vietnam Dream”, with anybody. I needed the job, I liked the job, and I didn’t want people to think that I was crazy. Frankly, I wasn’t totally sure that I wasn’t, at least to some degree.
After about twenty years on the dept, and I was a Lt. by then, I was assigned to attend a seminar on Deadly Force and Pursuit Policies. One of the instructors was a Psychologist who covered the symptoms of PTSD. I suddenly realized that after my return from Vietnam I had fit the profile perfectly.
After retirement I was a Federal Courthouse Security Officer for eleven years. Another CSO had a copy of “On Killing” by Lt. Col. David Grossman and I read it, several times. Since then I have purchased my own copy, twice. I think that Grossman got it about 90+% right. I am not going to pick the book apart because, as Jesus warned, “while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them”. Also, I could be in error about that other 10%. Every time I read the book I learn something new, or relearn something I had forgotten. I recommend this book most highly to every combat veteran and law enforcement officer!