Where I Got It: I received a review copy from the author (thanks!)
Who I Recommend This To: An interesting read for both nonmedical and nonmilitary folks.
Publisher: Osprey Publishing (2012)
Length: 176 pages
This autobiographical work follows author Patrick Thibeault over 20 years as he becomes a paratrooper and then a combat medic. Instead of being laid out chronologically, the book groups similar experiences into chapters. His stories are told in a straight forward way so that one doesn’t need medical knowledge or military knowledge to understand and enjoy the story of his life. He discusses his fear and excitement of jumping out of a plane for the first time, his deep need to serve in the field rather than an office, and his battle with PTSD.
For myself, I especially enjoyed reading about the training exercises, the team dynamics, and the author’s honesty about retiring from the service and moving on with his life. He got a cat, and the another, and a dog; and they helped him with his PTSD. The author kept the tale simple, overall positive, and skirted the politics. Quite frankly, I expected more cussing 😉 Still, I found the bureaucracy interesting; what one may or may not do, job territory issues, etc.
While there were very, very few females in this 20 year tale, the author does highly recommend that anyone interested in becoming a military medic take a course on women’s health, at the minimum. Occasionally, the narrative would jump from one story to the next and I felt that the previous tale was incomplete, and more like diary entries. But over all, the book was easy to follow, educational, and interesting.
What I Liked: Fast-paced; educational; easy to follow; there were pictures!; the author openly talks about PTSD.
What I Disliked: Were there really like no women in this life for 20 years of service?