Love Our Vets: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD (Deep River Books, 216 pp., $15.99, paper) is a conversationally written self-help book designed for wives and other family members of veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Author Welby O’Brien, who has an MA in counseling and his written widely about divorce and other family subjects, is the wife of a veteran who has PTSD.
In her book, O’Brien takes a practical approach to the problem, proffering sixty-three questions about PTSD, along with her answers, as well as other words of advice, including “A Prayer a Day.” The book, she says, “is not a treatise on PTSD, nor at attempt to fix it, ” nor a “marriage/relationship manual.” Instead, O’Brien has set out to “provide comfort, encouragement, and practical help for spouses, families, and all other loved ones of veterans with PTSD.”
One example of the book’s tone and content is O’Brien’s answer to the question: “He is drawn to war movies. Should I discourage him from watching them because it seems to not be helpful at all?”
“The best thing we can do is connect with them, ” O’Brien counsels. “If you can handle it, watch it with him. Personally, I cannot watch war movies…. Our job is not to fix or to change, but we are privileged to be close enough to love them and connect. If they choose to open up at any level, that is a beautiful thing for both. Any discussion does not require a mutually agreed-upon solution. What a freeing concept!”