Over the last decade, we have sent thousands of people to fight on our behalf. But what happens when these soldiers come back home having lost their friends and killed their enemies, having seen and done things that have no place in civilian life?
In Aftershock, Matthew Green tells the story of our veterans' journey from the frontline of combat to the reality of return. Through wide-ranging interviews with former combatants - including a Royal Marine sniper and a veteran operator in the SAS - as well as serving personnel and their families, physicians, therapists and psychiatrists, Aftershock looks beyond the labels of shell shock and PTSD to get to the heart of today's post-conflict experience.
It pursues the question that the military are so reluctant to ask: why do people who are trained to thrive within the theatre of war so often find themselves ill prepared for peace?
As a new generation of battle-scarred troops begin to lay their weapons down, Aftershock offers an empathetic yet hard-hitting account of the hidden cost of conflict. And its message is one that has profound implications, not just for the military but for anyone with an interest in how we experience trauma and survive.
"Matthew Green has documented the hidden cost of modern war in a way no other author has ever even attempted. Intelligent, sensitive, courageous and tenacious, he has spent two years listening to the harrowing stories of former soldiers struggling to cope with PTSD - and hearing how the military and medical establishment have, for the most part, failed them. The MoD should hang their heads in shame if this book does not become required reading at every staff college. Aftershock hasn’t come a moment too soon." (James Fergusson, author of A Million Bullets)
"This is a most compelling book which tells the story of those who have suffered so much in the conduct of operation to protect our security. Mental health pressures need to move centre stage in our priorities - now!" (Sir Richard Dannatt, former general chief of staff)