Go inside the mind and life of a Canadian military leader. The book takes on a story-telling style drawing the reader in, from the time Christian is a young boy growing up in Cape Breton to commanding a military base in Ontario, Canada.
Christian embodies what our military wants in a faithful servant. Christian committed 26 years of his life to service. He served and led exactly as he was trained, which served him well in combat and leadership, but also caused him tremendous pain and suffering in his personal life. Christian worked his entire career in overdrive, and even now believes that a good night’s sleep is anything over four hours. When Christian began to struggle with grief and depression, he did everything within his power to stay on course. His story is a sobering reminder that there are limits to the amount of trauma and loss that the human spirit can withstand.
Christian holds this book out as a self-help book for the struggling vet. In fact, he takes the reader on a journey so descriptive and delightful you’ll be left with a sense of exactly what it was like growing up in a small fishing town in Cape Breton. As much as he was eager to leave the ‘small pond,’ he shares with humility his struggles to find his place in the vast military world. Although hindsight is 20/20, Christian has written this book as if he was right back there at RMC, on the training ground, or on the battle field, and that is what makes his book great.
The intent of his writing is not to only outline some of the systemic problems in the military as he has experienced them but to educate readers on the depth of issues that can stem from complex trauma. The writer purposely focuses on his perspectives from various chapters of his life knowingly admitting that they were bias and sometimes inaccurate. This level of candor is what makes the messages found in the book so important.
It was a diagnosis of PTSD which led to Christian's early retirement, but this is not where his story ends. At the end of the book, Christian provides the reader with clinical information about the signs of PTSD and available treatment. He openly accepts that having complex PTSD is a constant work in progress but post PTSD growth does exist. After all of his turmoil, he discusses how he is recovering and the principles by which he now lives his life.
This book is a rare glimpse inside the Canadian military, and is sure to spark curiosity and raise adrenaline levels even in those unfamiliar with military life.
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