Soft Spots, A Marine’s Memoir of Combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Clint Van Winkle; 2009; $14.99;213 pages; St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, NY; 978-0-312-60296-3; 956.70443 V2853s; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 4/20/14-4/21/14

Clint Van Winkle combines his tour of duty in Iraq with his travails through the Veterans Administration and his life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We see how the specific events of his tour in the war combine to contribute to his own PTSD, which wasn’t wanting to go hurt others or himself but were a feeling of rage, guilt and shame mixed together.  This is one of the best explanations I have seen of the effects of PTSD and the ineffectiveness of much of the Veterans Administrations Medical Departments.  He so effectively communicates that it is pretty close to walking alongside him.

Did I like it?  Yes it was very engrossing and compelling.  I often read more than I intended at a setting because it was so good.


What is with the title of the review?  While Van Winkle was on patrol one time they came across a light skinned red headed Iraqi child, whom they referred to as Mohammed O’Malley.  He stood out from all of those around him and I think sometime that is how vets feel about themselves, they are part of our society but they think they stand out.