Friday, April 18, 2008

Rule Number Two

Rule Number Two.

Kraft, Dr. Heidi Squier

"There are two rules of war. Rule number one is that young men die. Rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one."

In 2004 Navy clinical psychologist Dr. Heidi Kraft
was deployed to Iraq. This is the story of her time there. I don't know about you but when we think of the medical treatment that our soldiers are receiving in Iraq (and Afghanistan too) I really hadn't thought about the fact that they need to be treated psychologically as well as physically. You think about the doctors and nurses in the CASH units, treating physical wounds. but you don't think about the psychiatrists and psychologists who are there for the soldiers who need to just talk to someone about the buddy that they lost, or the horrible things that they have seen or just how lonely that they are.

This isn't a particularly long book but a thought provoking one. When Corporal Jason L. Dunham was brought in, and initially classified as about to die, Dr. Kraft was holding his hand when they realized that he wasn't going anywhere yet. She held his hand throughout his initial treatment at the CASH unit and until he was medivaced to Bahgdad, Germany and Bethesda. She was touched in a deep way by this particular young man, not knowing that he had come by his fatal injuries because he threw his Kevlar helmet on top of a grenade and then threw himself on top of the helmet, sacrificing his own life to save his Marine buddies. Dr. Kraft was able to be present at a White House ceremony a year later when Corporal Dunham was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The book is dedicated to his mom, Deb Dunham.

This is a book worth finding at the library.


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