4 out of 4 stars
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Throughout Make a Smooth Transition after the Military: Create Yourself a Wonderful Civilian Life, written by Roseline F. Pagala Salazar, readers follow the steps of the author’s process as she transitioned from service to civilian life. Salazar was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to her several traumatic experiences. In this candid and heart-rending nonfiction book, the author shares her recovery journey.
Salazar reminisces about her childhood. Her two older brothers enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard, and her parents taught her to be determined and never give up. The author enlisted in the US Air Force when she was twenty years old. She joined the military to fulfill her childhood dreams of serving her country, meeting new people, and traveling the world. Her duty stations and deployments included Iraq and Afghanistan. After over twelve years away from home, the author came back to the US and faced PTSD. Her first months of civilian life were very hard, and she had to take care of a three-month-old and adjust to a whole new life.
I found several noteworthy positive aspects in this book, which I enjoyed reading. Above all, the author champions a valuable and timely message: the crucial importance of mental health treatment. Like many, she didn’t feel that way before, for she thought it was for weak people. Her experience completely changed her mindset, of course.
Also, I found the author’s narration tangible and vivid. Salazar gives readers several examples of things that can leave life-long scars, leading to physical and mental health issues, making for a compelling and well-documented read. For instance, she mentions getting attacked while on a convoy, facing incoming rocket attacks during the night hours, and being harassed by squadron members.
I also enjoyed the author’s detailed description of her healing process. For instance, she describes how she coped, sharing mindfulness and breathing exercises, among other techniques. Salazar’s treatments included CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), psychotherapy, and PTSD group sessions. She stresses the importance of involving a professional, such as a therapist, to talk about treatment options and plans. She tells readers how a therapist, Dr. Winter Hamada, played a pivotal role in her life.
In closing, I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars; I have no negative aspects to mention. It seemed professionally edited, for I only found a few minor mistakes in it. Salazar’s story is inspirational and will surely appeal to those who are going through similar experiences. Readers interested in dealing with mental health issues should take a look at it.
Make a Smooth Transition After the Military
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