Facing the Wall: A Mission


Jan 13
Book Cover: Facing the Wall

Book by Mary S King — A Review

Mary has written a sensitive story of her husband’s round trip, from Vietnam, to home, and then back to Vietnam again, and again, and again daily, nightly.

Her husband Jim fought in Vietnam as a marine. Today he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with many active symptoms. He is a prisoner of his own mind, unable to hold a job, unable to forget the past, unable to end the endless war in his mind.

Mary tells us the story of PTSD as seen through her eyes, the eyes of someone who loves the person suffering this horrible disease and can do nothing to help. She tells us how hard it was for Jim to admit he’d had a problem, how hard it is for him to sleep at night, and, most poignantly, how hard it was, finally, to face The Wall.

Her story is a journey. It leads us from their marriage, to Vietnam, and then the long, slow journey of healing that arrives at The Wall—the most visited landmark in Washington DC.

The book brought back a lot of memories for me.

I remember returning from my first visit to The Wall. It had taken me years to get there. On my way home, I stopped along the way to visit friends and family. My brother, who’d been to see the wall a number of times, related to me his trips to The Wall, “Every time I’m there, I see some old vet, wearing camouflage and a jungle hat leaning up against the wall crying. Did you see that? Did you see that too?”

I shook my head, “No. I didn’t see that.” As I drove the final leg home that night, I thought about what he’d said and the why I hadn’t seen what he’d seen. I hadn’t seen the guy in the camo and the jungle hat leaning up against the wall crying, because when I was at The Wall, I was that guy.

In Mary’s story, it was Jim’s turn to visit The Wall. It is a long and painful journey. It’s a journey that both rips the scabs off old wounds and starts a healing process at the same time.

Anyone with a family member who suffers from this terrible disorder should read this book. The book is like a support group, echoing your feelings that you thought were unique to you alone.

With our soldiers coming home from Iraq changed forever, many young brides, brothers and sisters and mothers, should read this book.

Mary ends her book with an appropriate, anonymous quotation: When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then, and only then, shall we have peace.

You won’t be able to get Mary and Jim out of your hearts.

You can get a copy here, at AbeBooks: Facing the Wall.