For Immediate Release                                                                                                                        Media Contacts:

December 17 , 2019                                                                                                                                Sandy Trupp – 202.374.1714

                                                                                                                                                                      Lisa A. Shenkle – 410.227.5899

Engaging More Fully with War Veterans:

How War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers Helps Citizens Connect with Veterans

 

Washington, DC – Americans are largely disconnected from war, thus, disconnected to the experiences of the soldiers serving, and who have served, in protecting the nation. Family members frequently have no personal insight into the private thoughts and trauma of their military family members – and that is by design. Most veterans prefer to protect their families from the horrors of their experiences.

 

With a new book published, Americans, including family members, among others, may be able to share in the very personal insights of what our warriors do, how they have been affected and how private citizens can better communicate with them on a day-to-day basis.  

The invisible wounds of war, as chronicled by 31 stories in a new book, War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers by Dr. Edward Beal, is written, primarily, for citizens who do not serve in the military – in other words, the other 99%. Dr. Beal’s mission is to give Americans the tools to know how to speak to veterans in order to help share in the experience. Dr. Beal learned much of this via his 5,000 telepsychiatry sessions over seven years – and one of those lessons was “listen as they speak.”

 

A clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University, Dr. Beal gives average citizens the tools to build more productive conversations – even in brief engagements – with our veterans. Here are five methods for engaging veterans in deeper, more meaningful discourse that not only helps veterans connect more to the rest of us, it helps the rest of us share the burden of war with the few who serve:

1. Ask them where they served.

 

Saying “thank you,” is certainly polite, but inquiring where a soldier served demonstrates, a sincere interest in their experience, without getting too personal with a stranger, colleague or family friend. 

2. What did you do?

Were they stationed in a war zone? Did they perform IT support duties or fly a helicopter? This gives them an opportunity to discuss their skills, something personal, yet not overly intrusive. 

 

3. How long did you serve?

Many soldiers have been deployed multiple times. Demonstrating another level of interest in their length of service creates appreciation and empathy for their dedication.

4. Be a good listener.

Dr. Beal says he “learned I did not have to talk as much in order to hear.” Listening can be far more productive than knowing what to say next.

5. Addressing trauma: Dr. Beal says it’s “OK” to respond to an individual who shares a traumatic revelation, should that happen, by saying “I have never heard anything like this before, and I do not know what to say.” 

 

Research finds that “71 per cent of Americans say they do not understand the problems faced by those who have served since 9/11” (Military Service Initiative from the Bush Center—bushcenter.org). In this same source, veterans report that “the public has ‘little awareness’ of the issues facing them and their families.”

 

Dr. Beal contends that grief and trauma must become a collective experience rather than just be contained within an individual, and so he asks the question: have Americans as a group compartmentalized our war effort in order to avoid the pain of understanding what we have done and are doing? We owe it to our servicemen and women, our national duty, to make a collective effort to understand.

 

Dr. Beal believes the book and the stories within serve as a source for greater understanding and compassion, a first step for every citizen getting to know a soldier, one conversation at a time.

 

War Stories of the Forgotten Soldiers - Publisher: Koehler Books Distributor: Ingram PUB DATE: 11/25/2019 SOFT COVER: $16.95, 978-1-63393-947-9 HARD COVER: $24.95, 978-1-63393-949-3 EBOOK: $7.99, 978-1-63393-948-6 TRIM: 6”x 9”, pages 236 MEDICAL: Military Medicine

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Edward W. “Ted” Beal is a clinical professor in psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during the Vietnam War. He is a two-time book author, having co-authored Adult Children of Divorce. His second book, War Stories of the Forgotten Soldiers, is the culmination of almost eight years of experience and nearly 5,000 interviews working with returning soldiers. He has appeared on NBC’s Today, and on ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR radio programs.  He has been a quoted resource to U.S.A. Today and The Washington Post.  

Media Contacts:

Sandy Trupp – 202.374.1714

Lisa A. Shenkle – 410.227.5899

For Immediate Release                                                       

November 4, 2019                                                                                                                 

 

Exploring the Invisible Wounds of War in

War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers

 

Seven years, more than 30 stories, nearly 5,000 sessions, readers will experience, in compelling form,
a front seat to the psychic wounds of our volunteer warriors

 

Washington, DC – Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, and author of War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers (Koehler Books, November 25, 2019), Dr. Edward W. Beal, writes that “Sharing in the soldier’s moral grief is not just a national duty; rather it is a moral obligation that we citizens owe to soldiers who fought in their place.” What do the words “a grateful nation” truly mean at a time when only one percent of the population, actually serve in defense of the country?

 

In riveting detail, Dr. Beal narrates and weaves clinical observations with the stories of veterans going to, and returning from, Iraq and Afghanistan. From 2010 to 2017, Dr. Beal conducted work in telepsychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During this time, the veterans’ stories were so powerful they often left him emotionally spent. Documenting the stories, for Dr. Beal, began as a form of catharsis. War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers, is the compilation of those essays. Following each soldier story, are Dr. Beal’s thoughts and questions generated by that soldier’s experience.

 

Through his collection of encounters, the author’s mission is to engage the other 99 percent of Americans who do not serve in the military. War Stories from the Forgotten Soldiers is a springboard to elevate the conversation between civilians and the four million veterans who have served the United States over the past twenty years. Dr. Beal gives us the resources to know how to begin that first step in meaningful dialogue, one veteran, one conversation at a time.

 

“The collective narrative experience, the telling of the story by the traumatized soldier to a trustworthy audience, the collective experiencing of terror, rage, and grief, is critical to regain the soul of the individual and the integrity of our society,” says Dr. Beal. “War and killing, guilt and grief are far too important not to be

shared.”

 

Readers will experience the impact, and call to action, toward a higher collective consciousness, with every story they read, more fully appreciating the service and suffering of our soldier warriors. It is this dynamic, he hopes, will manifest change and improve the soldier-citizen divide. Dr. Beal believes the book and the stories within will serve as a source for great understanding and compassion, a first step for every citizen getting to know a soldier.

 

War Stories of the Forgotten Soldiers - Publisher: Koehler Books Distributor: Ingram PUB DATE: 11/25/2019 SOFT COVER: $16.95, 978-1-63393-947-9 HARD COVER: $24.95, 978-1-63393-949-3 EBOOK: $7.99, 978-1-63393-948-6 TRIM: 6”x 9”, pages 236 MEDICAL: Military Medicine

 

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