1st Edition

Binding Their Wounds America's Assault on Its Veterans

By Robert J. Topmiller, T. Kirby Neill Copyright 2011
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    The victims of US military campaigns are usually nameless civilians in far away places, but there are also victims closer to home - the soldiers so often used and then discarded by the establishment. Binding Their Wounds is a book about US veterans written by a US veteran - Bob 'Doc' Topmiller. Topmiller fought in Vietnam, founded a school for orphans there, and become a professor of history before he tragically committed suicide. Close friend and scholar Kerby Neill stepped in to complete the book. The result is a history of US veterans and their treatment by the US establishment from the early republic to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Binding Their Wounds offers policy recommendations to improve post-conflict treatment and care for veterans which are long overdue.

    Chapter 1 “Help Me, Doc”; Chapter 2 The VA’s Story; Chapter 3 Atomic Veterans; Chapter 4 Agent Orange, Peter Berres; Chapter 5 Gulf War Syndrome; Chapter 6 War and the Human Psyche of America’s Veterans; Chapter 7 Veterans’ Suicides; Chapter 8 The VA Today; Chapter 9 “Help Us, Doc,” to Avoid the Next War;


    Robert J. Topmiller, T. Kerby Neill, George C. Herring

    “A harrowing reminder that wars do not end when the fighting stops, Binding Their Wounds is also an impassioned plea for America to do better by those who bear the scars of war.”
    —Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War

    “This is a book filled with love and anger and patriotism, but patriotism as Mark Twain defined it: ‘supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.’ It asks us all, as individuals and as citizens, to consider mistakes that have been made, to listen with open hearts to those who have suffered, and to accept responsibility for being agents of change. Would that ‘Doc’ Topmiller had finally been able to bind his own wounds, but, as his death underscores the urgency of the problem, so this book, and the community it brought together to honor his intent, suggest solutions.”
    —Penny Coleman, author of Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide, and the Lessons of War

    “Bob Topmiller was my hero. How could he not have been? In the short time I had to know him again, he restored within me a belief in the nobility of human character. His extraordinary intellectual gifts and his confidence in the empirical process were always tempered by a calm spirituality that caused even a cynical, old pagan like myself to recognize there might be a place in this universe for both. I am eternally grateful for that, for the honor of his friendship, and for the simple pleasure of his company. This book gives us a little more time with Bob.”
    —Michael Archer, author of A Patch of Ground: Khe Sanh Remembered

    “This important book is a vital resource, not only for veterans, but for everyone who wants to understand the cost of war and way to peace.”
    —Paul K. Chappell, author of Will War Ever End? and The End of War

    “Two military veterans look at how the US has treated its veterans from the time of the Revolutionary War to the present day, arguing that the needs of veterans have often been given short shrift. Using veterans’ personal accounts (including that of the author Topmiller), the book details the government’s failures to help veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietname and to radiation in military experiments, and pays special attention to the problems of trauma and suicide in veterans. This passionate account with especially interest veterans and anyone involved in an organization that serves veterans.” --Eithne O’Leyne, June 2011 Reference and Research Book News

    “Binding Their Wounds is a tribute to Bob Topmiller’s service to his country, his pioneering academic work and his dedication to America’s veterans and to working for peace in this country and in Vietnam” --Vietnam magazine, August 2011

    “[Robert Topmiller’s] words pierce my heart and cut to the core for all war veterans who truly are left with the human costs of war…Read this book.” –Veterans for Peace

    "This well-documented work deserves a wide audience; it could be used as source material for a range of disciplines, including psychology, counseling, history, sociology, and peace studies...Highly recommended." -CHOICE, April 2012