A Review of “Thank You For Your Service”

When it comes to the subject of mental illness, there are a lot of misconceptions that arises, but David Finkel tries to debunk them in his book “Thank You For Your Service.” In his book, he writes about a veteran who develops a host of mental illnesses from fighting in Afghanistan, the difficulties that he faces when he tries to assimilate into civilian life, and how everyone around him is dealing with his issues. Through David Finkel’s efforts in disseminating the conditions of U.S. soldiers post war, he fails to present, however, a well-rounded account of what all soldiers go through after war.

On Adam Schumann’s last day of war, he worried a lot about how his life would be once he joined civilian life. He wasn’t ready to leave Afghanistan because he felt a lot of guilt about leaving his comrades, and most of all, the memories that he developed while he was in war. From the time he arrived at the airport, his life as a civilian was set on a rocky path. While the soldiers who fought in Afghanistan were greeted by their family members and loved ones, a woman who cried about her dead husband confronted him. There was no welcome sign for Adam Schuman, like one would expect –just a lot of tears and a wife who couldn’t handle him.

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Once Adam Schuman arrived home, it was clear that his life as a civilian was far from what he expected. Once revered as a leader amongst his comrades, Adam Schumann fell into the tight grips of gambling, his mind was encapsulated with suicidal thoughts, and often times, he found himself without the enthusiasm to go through the day. This left him with a strained family life, a nonexistent social life and a mountain full of worries.

The worst part about this issue was that despite all of the years that he fought for this country, the U.S did not provide him the help that he needed. There are a plethora of soldiers that are living in the same circumstances and although David Finkel did a good job presenting this unspoken truth about the harsh effects of American wars, he did not write about any characters that represented the soldiers who made it out of war without any mental issues –which creates the impression that going to war may lead to mental issues and instability.

 

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