Read The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans by Elizabeth Heaney Online


Winner of the Nautilus Book Award and the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal.A young combat veteran hides in his closet under a pile of clothes on bad nights. Another, home for five days, can’t figure out how to talk to his wife. And a commander’s spouse recounts the soul-draining effect of attending nearly one hundred memorial services…When therapist ElizabethWinner of the Nautilus Book Award and the Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal.A young combat veteran hides in his closet under a pile of clothes on bad nights. Another, home for five days, can’t figure out how to talk to his wife. And a commander’s spouse recounts the soul-draining effect of attending nearly one hundred memorial services…When therapist Elizabeth Heaney left her private practice to counsel military service members and their families, she came face-to-face with unheard-of struggles and fears. Emotions run deeply—and often silently—in the hearts of combat veterans in this eye-opening portrait of the complex, nuanced lives of service personnel, who return from battling the enemy and grapple with readjusting to civilian life.Presenting the soldiers’ stories—told in their own words—as well as her own story of change, Heaney offers an intimate perspective, not of war itself but of its emotional aftermath. Some of these stories scrape the bone; others are hopeful, even comical. Every one reveals the sacrifices of those on the front lines and the courage, grace, and honor with which they serve....

Title : The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781503935747
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 286 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans Reviews

  • Yvonne (It's All About Books)
    2019-06-01 20:47

    Finished reading: September 3rd 2016“Rather than being seen as protectors - as warriors have been viewed in past cultures - our current culture struggles with how to view combat veterans. The cultural dissonance about recent wars spills over into our feelings about soldiers, creating another layer of difficult struggle for soldiers who fought and served.”*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Grand Harbor Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***(view spoiler)[I was first approached back in August with the question if it would interest me to read The Honor Was Mine, a memoir written by a counselor to combat veterans, and I immediately went to Netgalley to request the title. The subject has always interested me and I even followed a course at Uni about the traumatic effects of war on soldiers... And basically this memoir left me speechless. It's a brilliant and highly emotional personal account of Elizabeth Heaney's experience working with combat veterans that will most likely bring tears to your eyes. The story is a balanced mix of the thoughts/experiences of both soldiers and the author herself, which gives you a better insight to their world. The Honor Was Mine is without doubt a well written and emotional memoir and I have many quotes highlighted on my kindle. If you ask me, anyone who wants to understand the whole 'veteran/soldier' world better should read this memoir. You won't regret it!Therapist Elizabeth Heaney came face-to-face with the unheard-of struggles and fears of the military service and their families after she left her private practice and decided to sign up to counsel them. Soldiers and veterans are often misunderstood and she decided to try and describe their complex and nuanced lives in a way that outsiders will be able to understand. Because emotions run deeply and a lot of soldiers seem to struggle readjusting to civilian life after returning from battling the enemy.It doesn't happen often that a book leaves me speechless, but The Honor Was Mine is one of them. This memoir is about such an important topic, and on top of that it's also well written and full of emotions. I personally don't know anyone close who fought during a war, but my thoughts goes out to all the soldiers and veterans out there. If you want to learn more about the effects of war on veterans, I can definitely recommend The Honor Was Mine. (hide spoiler)]P.S. Find more of my reviews here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Louis
    2019-05-16 17:36

    This is the story of a civilian counselor who joined a program to provide off-the-record counseling services at domestic military bases. She spent short term assignments at each base, with the intention that it was part of a portfolio of provided services, attracting members of the military community who would not be willing to engage the more traditional mental health resources that were already available. It is a view of the military that I very much relate to, as I was attached to a deployed unit as a civilian for a similar period of time.The first chapter starts slow, she talks about the trauma in her life prior to her taking this assignment as a way of resetting her life (and this gets dropped in the rest of the book). But once you get past the first chapter you get into the story. Two themes that permeate are her being a civilian learning her way around the military environment, which sets up the theme of veterans returning from deployment and those around them responding in their different ways.The first theme is that of a civilian entering the military community and the differences. She tells the story of her first assignment, of encountering military discipline and curtsy first as a shock, but then respect for the stability that it provides. She goes on to what she realizes the purpose of many of attitudes and rhythms of the military. First, the realization that those in the military must be prepared for anything at any time, and military discipline and curtsy is intended to build the attitudes needed to enable that. Second, that there are a range of overall attitudes held by those in the military, with a considerable more diversity than she expected when she was in a civilian life. But one set of values that holds people together is a focus on duty (towards country and each other, not necessarily in that order) and integrity. And the dissonances between those values and what they see in the civilian world (and in what I called Big Army for that matter) causes many of the problems they have in adapting to home. But what this long discussion of the difficulties she had in getting used to the military culture does is leads to her discussion about the issues that veterans and their families and the problems that veterans who have returned from a combat zone and their families. And she has gone through the same type of struggle in the first chapter with what she dealt with in her life and the reactions of those around her, and dealing with the same culture shift in the other direction. This part is the deepest, she alternates between telling the stories of the people she meets during the course of her assignments and the story of her processing these. Stories of working with the returning soldiers, the transition between combat and their families, soldiers and spouses trying to deal with the uncertainty of life in general and of soldiers returning after a year of combat, spouses worried about infidelity when the returning soldier is still working through the transition between combat and peacetime, of the care that soldiers have of the wounded and fallen brothers (and sisters) in arms.Through it all, what shows through is her thankfulness that she has seen this part of life, the pride, dedication, and duty to others that permeates the military. And the recognition that this is not the norm in U.S. society at large. In my own experience, I've been told to view the lives of companions as not precious, had offers to refer me to counselors who would tell me that I should have ignored the calls for help from someone in the backcountry. And this contrasting incredibly with being deployed to a combat zone where I was with people who did their duty and tried to do right by those that they were along side. And when I returned, my then girlfriend and I spent a month trying to figure out if I had changed. (and when we were all settled, I figured that I had a good thing going and proposed to her!)It is a wonderful book. It has a great treatment of PTSD, because it takes the first step of having to experience some of the causes (the need to be constantly aware, the sense that your world and your attitude may have to shift in a heartbeat, and you have to be ready for it, and having to deal with a civilian world that does not generally value duty or integrity) It does not preach, but it gives a set of eyes that had to go through similar experiences and uses that as an analogy into that world.Note: I received a free electronic copy of this through the Goodreads Giveaways program. The opinions are my own and were not subject to any review.

  • Cari
    2019-06-07 18:50

    The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans is a tough book for me to review. I felt very disconnected from the author's words and I blame that almost entirely on the narration (this was an audio book on Kindle Unlimited). The narrator's voice was very flat and emotionless, with this authoritative edge that gave the author's words (that might have otherwise felt genuine and personal) a sense of authoritative snobbery. I felt that much of the book was akin to somewhat of a lecture or had a text book quality to its language, so the experience wasn't all that intriguing.With that being said, I tried desperately to focus on the soldiers' stories and the author's messages about soldiers coming home but still being at war within their minds. I see this all the time. I take care of veterans who haven't been to war in sixty years, yet they still suffer from PTSD. It's so common that as a night shift nurse, I've learned the proper way to wake my male patients who may awaken in the midst of a fight or flight response and hurt me or their selves. I also appreciated the perspective of military wives and families and how much they suffer not just during deployment, but also during the delicate time when the soldiers first return home. I hadn't really considered this. I've thought about how difficult it must be to have your spouse away for so long, not knowing if they are safe or what they are doing and I always had this illusion that when the soldier comes home, everything is "hunky dory" and goes right back to normal. I now know that this is so far from the truth that my heart just aches at the thought.While I didn't particularly enjoy the book, I have such an even greater respect for our soldiers and their families after reading The Honor Was Mine: A Look Inside the Struggles of Military Veterans, so I'm really glad that I took the time to read it.

  • Teresa Whitehead
    2019-06-02 19:52

    I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I have to say that I am so glad that I had the chance to read this memoir. I am not much of a non-fiction reader but I have to say that “The Honor Was All Mine” made me laugh and cry. As a 21-year Navy veteran, I have dealt with many issues but nothing like those written about here. Ms. Heaney describes her reasons for becoming a counselor, her non-standard approach to speaking with military members and their spouses, and even her own struggle when she realized she had a form of PTSD. My father did two tours in Vietnam and some of the symptoms described by Ms. Heaney were experienced by my father. If only he would have had the same help that is available now. The snippets of stories will give you a brief insight as to the experiences that soldiers deal with when deployed into combat areas and how hard it can be to decompress and really arrive home in an emotional, not just physical sense. Also written was Ms. Heaney’s move from base to base just like the military – the getting attached and then having to leave process. One of the few stories I was explaining what I had read to my husband about the employees that process the belongings of service members who had been killed or wounded in combat and was getting so choked up that I had to stop. What an extraordinary well-written book!

  • Fred Donaldson
    2019-06-10 19:52

    Compelling well-written and touching tributeGripping story of a counselor on contract to the military. She writes about her clients, masking their identities, and at the same time reveals her own personal experiences. Great for anyone dealing with PTSD or living with someone who is. Gives a clear picture of the serviceperson 's sacrifices and the healing that comes just from being listened to.Linda Donaldson

  • Suzanne Allen
    2019-05-21 18:40

    This book was excellent. The author wrote about her experiences, being a counselor at Army posts. She especially wrote about how the soldiers came to her for counseling and how reticent they were. She was employed to rotate through a number of Army posts.

  • John E. Donovan
    2019-06-07 23:31

    Great insight into the military, incl. family!Elizabeth Heaney, MA, LPC, does an excellent job at finding out what it's like to serve in today's military, and she pulls no punches in letting the reader know just at what costs their service comes. Too, she looks at both the service member, and the family that's left behind, giving the reader an all-inclusive peek into the tremendous psychological costs of the (military) family.The author includes a list of references at the end of her book ... a handy guide to articles and organizations available for further help/research in the area of the psychological impact of military, war-time, service.

  • Dale Gustafson
    2019-06-03 21:33

    A moving account by a counselor working with service personnel and their families.Elizabeth Heaney's respect and compassion for soldiers and their families is apparent on every page. The stories she tells are ones of courage and endurance as well as. Sorrow and compassion.

  • Natalie Gullo
    2019-06-04 00:37

    Beautiful, poignant, funny, and often heartbreaking, Heaney's writing makes her story real and makes me infinitely grateful that people like her exist in a world like today.

  • Debbie Payne
    2019-06-01 17:32

    I knew I was going to give this book a five-star rating within the first couple of chapters. I have to say that, I, myself, was honored to be one of the recipients to read this important, well-written book about how the military works and how it shapes the men and women who choose to join one of the services. Being a wife of a retired military member, I had a lot of respect and empathy for what those young men and women do for their country. Yet, when I finished this book with all of Ms. Healy's fine stories, I felt I had learned more from this book than from being a military kid as well as a military wife. Elizabeth Heaney is a wonderful writer. She made me feel, acutely feel, a lot of the pain that both she and her soldiers went through. She made all these people, including herself, so real to me that I felt a loss when I swiped the last page of my iPad and turned the lights out for the night. I can imagine what a comfort she was for the people she touched. Her stories ran the gamut from funny, sad, happy, serious and much of the time, gut-wrenching misery.She tells stories from all the many places she stayed in for such short times. She really got to understand what it is like for people who work for and in the military. Leaving a place you enjoy or not, it is difficult to go hopping from one home to another. Many moves can make you more resilient but they can also break your heart when leaving your friends for another base. Her last assignment was the coup de grace. The place she ended up in will blow your mind. It is a place that many of us who are military don't necessarily understand how people cope with performing the mission of this particular and very special base. The story of this last assignment brought me to tears. Ms. Heaney let us know that one of her colleagues mentioned that she had always wanted to get this particular assignment and told her she would love to be involved in this mission. Ms. Heaney's last assignment may have been a sort of ending, but it was what was destined for her to leave the military to put her energies into a new beginning. I would recommend this book to anyone, young or old or in-between. This book was insightful and loving. You will leave this book with an impression. You will understand the sacrifice these young men and women make and what it costs them. So...the next time you have the opportunity to meet a military man or woman and you thank them for their service you will have the satisfaction that comes from knowing that your words will have feeling behind them.

  • Nell
    2019-06-08 20:28

    The prologue of this book sets a tone which should be remembered throughout the book. We see the reality of a soldier reacting to a new life after service. It honestly made me cry.In this book, the author tells her story of coming to counsel these soldiers (used as she did, a generic term to cross all branches rather than as the actual term) interspersed with short tales about people she met and spoke to. The stories are cleansed of identifying information; they still retain every drop of meaning and affect.In the interest of being completely honest, I am a relative of two service members. I am familiar with the terms that the author has to define for most readers. I understand the "family" perspective. I can identify with it.I like that the author was honest in the beginning. That she spoke of her ideas and predispositions about soldiers... That they're addicted to war... That they enjoy it. It makes the transition she goes through more moving and heartfelt. Soldiers do not crave war. They do not want to participate. They, however, do the hard job many of us cannot or will not. That should be remembered no matter a reader's personal view on war. This book handles that gap well and speaks to both sides of the war debate.Some quotes that spoke to me..."Success could be getting to know the person who came home and letting go of the person you were when you deployed." (Author)"They are expected to engage in the next task without hesitation or question - that's what soldiers do." (Author)"I don't know how to miss them so much." (Soldier)"They faced experiences many of us would never agree to face; they carried burdens that would break even the strongest among us." (Author)"They gave me a prescription and told me to come back in three months." (Soldier)The section of the book which connected most with me was Her Son in Chapter 7. It described the organized chaos that comes when soldiers return to a hangar full of family and friends. I've done this. Many observations that the author made were things I experienced, witnessed or felt. It was a good feeling of community... Even as it described one particular event that had already happened some time before. It brought back the memories of happiness I witnessed and the thankfulness I had myself.I received a free Kindle copy in return for an honest review.

  • Becky
    2019-06-12 17:26

    Such an insightful, beautifully written book. This has raised my respect for those who serve us even more. The stories shared will stay with me for a long, long time.

  • Elizabeth Collins Smith
    2019-05-20 23:45

    A Tribute to A Reality That Is Too Often NeglectedAs a former military brat, spouse, and counselor I found this account of individuals cast in roles few can imagine very well told. Without exaggeration or sentimentality the narrative provides an accurate portrayal of the concessions made by everyone involved.

  • Chelsea Morris
    2019-06-02 20:45

    I was really interested in reading this book. Having recently moved to an area with a large military presence, I wanted to learn more about the challenges that face our soldiers and their families. Prior to moving to this area, I, like the author, had some preconceived notions about the people who join the military. After reading this book, my opinions have changed. The author writes about her experiences as a counselor on military bases. The stories she tells were complex. She was able to accurately capture the depth and emotions of the soldiers as they struggle to adjust to the changes in their lives. Like the author, I had a hard time following her as she moved on to a different base. I can only imagine how difficult it was for her to make connections with these soldiers, get them to open up, and make real progress, only to have to pack up and move on. On the whole, I enjoyed reading this book and learning from the author's experiences. It was really meaningful to hear about her work and experiences. I would recommend this book to anyone who interacts with members of the military in any capacity.

  • Anne W. Sweeney
    2019-05-26 16:26

    An important look into a civilian therapist helping on military basesI appreciated this book so much. I felt privileged to be able to understand better what soldiers and families deal with in the military. I felt The authors personal transformation as I read this book. as well as what I learned about the things soldiers deal with in the military- And their fear of going through military channels for counseling. I felt the authors grief and stress throughout the book And I also often wondered how she was able to do the work she did. I'm amazed at her resilience-And would love for her to be my therapist! This book is a really good and thoughtful read . I'd highly recommend it.

  • Shannon
    2019-05-19 23:32

    When I was first contacted about reviewing this book, I admit I was very apprehensive. I don't normally read memoirs. I almost never read books about war. And I never read books about the soldiers who fought in those wars.I'm so glad I said yes to this one. The Honor Was Mine is a profoundly touching look at the soldiers who fight for our country.In reading this book, I realized how little I really knew about our military. It's only within the past couple years that I...Read the rest on

  • Becky
    2019-05-17 00:49

    Thank you so much for this incredibly moving story. I am so appreciative of our military and the freedoms they allow us to maintain. After having read this book I am even more so. I got to see what our military men, women and families go through behind the scenes. Everyone should read this book.

  • Cathy
    2019-05-25 19:26

    Eye-opening memoirThis book has transformed my view of those who serve in the military and their families. I really lacked empathy because my life experiences are so incredibly "civilian". I am pleased to have received this book in a Goodreads giveaway and happy that I didn't rush through it. I highly recommend it.

  • Deb Hansen
    2019-05-20 22:34

    Life changingA heartbreaking and touching story of a therapists work with our military soldiers and their families. It gives you a glimpse into the stress war places on them all : emotional, neurological and relational.

  • Susan
    2019-05-27 23:50

    WowMy heart goes out to all these amazing veterans. A great look into the horrors of their everyday lives. We should thank them everyday for their service. I won this book through Goodreads

  • Hannah
    2019-06-01 22:44

    I cried.. so hard..

  • Amanda
    2019-06-11 16:54

    I recieved a copy of this book through Goodreads Kindle Giveaways.I loved how this book showed the heart of soldiers.