Why do some veterans miss war?

It’s not something you often hear in discussions about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But the fact remains: some veterans miss war.

That’s the thesis of Tribe: on homecoming and belonging, a new book by US war correspondent Sebastian Junger (co-director of the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo) on the epidemic of PTSD among US troops.

I loved Tribe and wrote this review for the Guardian.

Not everyone shared the same enthusiasm. Writing in the Wall Street Journal David J. Morris, a former US Marine and author of The Evil Hours, accused Junger of misrepresenting PTSD statistics, and went so far as to label him a ‘war tourist.’ Matthew Hoh, another former Marine, lambasted the book on Foreign Policy’s At War blog, saying it was misleading the public about veterans’ experience of PTSD and underplaying the link between combat and suicide.

If you want to hear Junger explaining his take, his TED Talk is well worth watching.

Meanwhile, I’ve started working on a magazine story exploring the issues around veterans, PTSD and the British criminal justice system. If anyone would like to share any experiences or offer any thoughts then please do drop me a line.

Final item: Aftershock is now available in paperback with a new cover design from online retailers such as Amazon and via bookshops. As ever, I always appreciate help in spreading the word.


The next Aftershock event will be at the Edinburgh Literary Festival: August 14, 2:15pm, Garden Theatre. Bookings here.