I found this book to be very heartwarming, informative and motivational. ‘Only the dead have seen the end of the war,” Fred Rendon, Jr. writes. “This is the shadow that darkens every cradle. Trauma is what happens when you catch a surprise glimpse of that darkness.” This passage captures the sadness, pain and profound weight of “My Battle with PTSD,” Rendon’s exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder. Rendon weaves together an autobiography of his own experience with PTSD, packed with memories from growing up, touching stories from his exciting journey in military, the traumatic obstacles that crossed his path in Vietnam and a critique of modern treatment that help him overcome his battles with PTSD. The book is timely, coming out when hundreds of thousands of soldiers are home from their deployment and the Department of Veterans Affairs is under siege for mismanagement.
Fred Rendon’s book, “My Battle with PTSD,” gave me the insights to understand that we need to do more to help our soldiers and veterans who dedicate and risk their lives to protect our country.
Fred Rendon Jr. was born in Dallas Texas and served in the United States Marine Corps as a Lance Corporal. E-3. He served in Camp Pendleton California, Camp Lejune North Carolina, Camp Butler Okinawa, and DaNang Vietnam. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 16 years old to report to training on his 17th birthday.
Fred knew the Marine Corps had a very difficult boot camp and he wanted to get into good shape, he wanted to fight for his country and make his family proud. He embedded with Marines and soldiers and witnessed his fair share of death and violence in Vietnam. His description of a direct strike is perhaps the most vivid in the entire literature: I heard a sound like a firecracker off to the right. I casually stood up and turned to face the tree line to investigate. Immediately, the sergeant in charge grabbed me by the sleeve and pulled me down with a hard jerk. As I fell, it dawned on me that the noise was a gunshot. “Get your ass down!” yelled the sergeant. I was in a war zone now and I would need to change my thinking if I was going to survive.
Rendon returned from Vietnam traumatized. Flashbacks, nightmares and sleeplessness haunted him. Eventually diagnosed with PTSD, he went through therapy and saw the Department of Veterans Affairs up close. Moved by his experience and those of others, he ventured to write about PTSD.
For Americans, Vietnam is the turning point. The war brought PTSD to the attention of the general public and led to its official recognition in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, meaning Veterans Affairs could treat it. Heightened scientific research followed. Hence, America still needs to do more for our soldiers helping them fight this vicious battle of PTSD; this is one war our soldiers and veterans cannot win by themselves. They need the Government’s help. The Government needs to pitch in and do more for these strong, proud soldiers and veterans who dedicated their lives to the American people.
Everyone in life goes through tragic events in their life and there are some people who unfortunately are faced with obstacles every day of their lives. The trick is how do they cope with these obstacles? Do they let PTSD get the best of them and slowly destroy them making them feel angry, saddened and depressed? Or do they reach out to others with experience in this field to teach them how to overcome this disorder, so the American soldiers battling this disorder can move on with their lives. Fred Rendon’s book teaches you in this book how to battle PTSD and turn your life around in his memoir and provides guidance that you can incorporate into your life and the outcome is very self-rewarding.
In the beginning, Rendon opens up and lets you into his world sharing his journeys in life, the highs, the lows, the ups and downs and the pain he endured while struggling with PTSD while the obstacles he encountered kept trying to run him over. Rendon discusses how he was diagnosed with PTSD and talks about how he dealt with it and learned how to cope with it.
As you come to the end of the book, Rendon discusses different options and advice to steer you a clear path to a new beginning. Fred includes certain websites and organizations that have successfully helped thousands of people. Rendon not only lets you into his world, he shows you how he transformed his entire life as he journeyed to defeat his enemy (PTSD).
I enjoyed how the book provides you with the stepping-stones and techniques to help battle PTSD. Fred Rendon, Jr. the author provides the reader with extraordinary stories; tools and techniques that help you transform your life.
In addition, through reading this book I realize no matter what age you are you can transform your life and create the life you always wanted for yourself. A life filled with happiness, inner peace, good health and a reason to live. Fred Rendon, Jr.’s book is an excellent book that I highly recommend to others.
Also available as an ebook or Paperback; ISBN: 978-1614563419, $10.95 180- pages
~ Stacey Chillemi, Huffpost Books