Returned Soldier : My Battles: Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
by James Prascevic
Editor: Melbourne Books
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James Prascevic provides a brutally honest, first-hand account of the front lines of combat witnessing the disturbing consequences of war for civilians, the thrill of being caught in an exchange of gunfire, the shock of losing a companion and the training that gave him in these situationsIt was his life story as an infantryman and the ugly aftermath of war, which created another challenge in the fight against mental illnessJames was a plumber in Victoria, when he decided to enlist as an infantryman in the Australian Defence ForceWith 1 RAR he served in Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, where he was confronted with the horrific effects of Improvised Explosive Devices.Upon his return from Afghanistan, he completed the Selection and Training Commando and more Cycle Reinforcement for Special Forces, but broke his leg in an incident parachutingIt was then that the black dog bits, forcing him to be released for medical reasons from the ADF after nearly ten years of serviceHe was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depression, anxiety and alcohol dependence.At first he was silent on the subject, until he lost his wife, his career, and near his lifeAs a result, he raised funds for the Institute’s Black Dog, configured the Difference Challenge website, and crossed the Strait of Bass in a “tinnie” to raise awareness of mental illness and its often devastating effects.James reminds us of the sacrifices Australian soldiers make for their country, and that there is no shame in admitting that you have a mental illnessJames has become a prominent spokesman for the return of the Soldiers, many of whom have psychological problems.He appeared on Channel 10 “The Project”, SBS “insight”, and was the subject of numerous newspaper reportsUnlike other soldiers, books of recent times, James was an infantryman on the front lines and
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