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Reviewed by Robert Rose for Readers' Favorite
Patrick Thibeault’s book “My Journey as a COMBAT MEDIC” is an honest tale of a person who deeply loves his country and was proud to serve in the military and believed in the value of the wars he took part in. Yet, he questioned the dying and the killing as he saw his friends crippled and dead. Even his “enemies” were not mere statistics, but living and dying humans - like him. He brought “compassion and humanity” to the battles. Each chapter covers a specific component of what made the author’s journey so special. For example, in the first chapter he writes about the thrills and consequences of jumping out of an airplane. He loved the fear and adrenaline rush of becoming a paratrooper army medic. He had fun while being scared out of his mind. The book is not only about combat operations, but also on the training that soldiers go through to become a medic in the US Army. His basic training did not train him for combat because it was completed in 1989 - a relatively peaceful time. Medic training was more interesting and similar to the EMT training that firemen experience. Jump school was to fulfill a dream he had since he was six. Other schools followed like the one in Survival Training that prepared him for war.
It is instructive to learn from a combat soldier what he experienced. In Kuwait he went from a newbie to an experienced medic. The duality of a man where he can be both destructive (killing) and compassionate (even caring for his enemies) was strongly felt by Patrick. Many soldiers, both in the active military and the reserve services, are often exposed to traumatic experiences in the realm of combat and, as a result, suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Patrick writes about how he has dealt with this disorder and his homecoming. PSTD remains a daily struggle and we should be more aware of what so many of our service men and women endure - in silence and emotional pain.