Healing the Warrior Heart

Laura Carroll, LiveTrue Books

by LiveTrue Book Reviewer, Melanie Davis

The horror of war is the hottest fire of difficulty to endure. Those who come out on the other side of these flames and write about it bring treasured words to the world.  In Healing the Warrior Heart: A Glimpse Into the Hearts of Combat Veterans and their Supporting Loved Ones we experience the words of those who intimately know how adversity can deepen the soul and bring profound wisdom.

Take Andrew Jones. He is a combat veteran whose thoughts and words heal the hearts of his comrades-in-arms, especially in the face of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In Healing the Warrior Heart Andrew combines his works with many other veterans and their supporting loved ones into a powerful and profound anthology of stories and poems which describe the battles in faraway lands, as well as the fierce wars waged in the minds and souls of the survivors. It is raw and real, yet is full of hope, which has the capacity to heal all who read it, veteran or civilian.

Although depicting moments of war, destruction, death and the ensuing guilt, Andrew’s writing contains love, optimism and understanding. In his first piece, titled “Al Gharraf,” Andrew recounts one of the fiercest battles he faced. In reading it, you’ll the sense the smells and hear sounds of his experience. Yet from this hell, he describes it as a miraculous experience. He also writes of his brother-in-arms, Roxley, who was wounded with bullets flying all around him, “He always had a force field around him and when he was near me, it extended around me as well.”

In Healing the Warrior Heart Andrew gives voice to many others, both veterans and the family members who suffer right alongside their loved ones. Their writings demonstrate the varied paths out of the painful pit of PTSD towards peace. Diana Mankin Phelps is a contributing author whose Marine son, Aaron Mankin, was badly burned in an IED (improvised explosive device) explosion. He literally gave his face and hands for our country. Her wisdom from the experience of watching her son fight through his injuries is applicable to all of us. In discussing her son’s approach to his adversity, she advises, “No matter what is going on around you or with you, the way you react and handle yourself will be the guide to how others deal with the task at hand. Aaron’s light always shines through, because he chooses to let it.”

Healing the Warrior Heart is a powerful tool being used in the veteran support world. It has been adopted by an outreach program with a similar name, Healing Warrior Hearts, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Reading this book as a civilian, I was captivated by the spirit of patriotism expressed by the authors and their willingness to suffer so much for the freedom of our country.  I feel it is extremely important for all of us to know the sacrifices that have been made for us, and to strive to understand the challenges and needs of our veterans when they come home.  Andrew’s book accomplishes this while providing soul searching and life-changing messages which directly apply to each of us, as we are all fighting personal battles in our journey through life. Because of the similarity between actual war and inner struggles, veterans can truly become our most valuable mentors.

26 thoughts on “Healing the Warrior Heart

  1. Reading this article makes me feel beyond happy that my Uncle’s book has touched so many lives in such a short time! His dedication, and the dedication of everyone around him who helps him spread his word, is so very heart warming as well as inspiring. I love that this book was built off of personal experiences, and the reality of it makes anyone who reads it feel that much closer to having an understanding of what our Warriors have dealt with, as well as how we can be there to show our unwavering support for them. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone needing some support and hope in their life.

    1. Having the integrity to reach deep inside one’s self and see the darkness and horror that changes everything good of what it is to be human. These men and women who have served to protect the very thing the rest of us take for granted every minute of everyday have given themselves unselfishly once again to share their stories. To come together to say they have survived, they are alive. Their hearts beat in every word, every letter of what it took to scream to be heard at times or pay the price so many others who could no longer hold on. This book changed how I looked at myself and what my role in this human experience should be. Thank you to all who contributed. How proud you should be of who you are and what you have accomplished. I look forward to reading more in the future.

  2. I have read the book and it is spot on. The reviewer of this book is also spot on in conveying the depth and reach of those trying to heal through the efforts of writing.

  3. An eloquent and accurate review of this book which gives so much insight to those wanting to understand and support our troops and veterans.

  4. Being the sister of a veteran and having friends who suffer from PTSD due to their time spent in combat, I found this book to be an intensely personal look into the darkness they face. I have shared the wisdom and words of hope with veterans who are struggling and have received immense positive feedback. One vet even shared the book with his wife so that she could better understand what he was experiencing; what he couldn’t find the words to express. I highly recommend this book and it’s message of hope and overcoming adversity is one to inspire all, civilian and veteran alike.

    1. Glenda,

      Thank you for your recommendation, along with mine, of Andrew Jone’s book. I hope to see it in more use, especially as it helps heal the trama of war on marriages, providing a source of understanding. I’m so glad you how Healing the Warrior Heart has been used by military couples.

      Melanie Davis

  5. An excellent review by Melanie Davis on Andrew Jones book Healing the Warrior Heart. I have used this book in my own research while examining the experiences, during and post deployment, of those who have served their country. Andrew is to be commended for bringing the experiences of veterans and their loved ones to the public’s attention and for giving a voice to those whose perspectives need to be shared.

    1. Thank you for your comment on my review. I’m intrigued to read that you have used the book in your own research. It is loaded with great messages and examples from all sides of deployment! I appreciate you lending your endoresement!

      Melanie Davis

  6. Andrew’s writings are very deep seeded in the experiences he has had. Which makes it easy for anyone to understand what they have all been through. They are a true God send to anyone who has read them, military or not. if you haven’t read them do take the time & you will definitely have a much needed understanding of how to heal & overcome. G

    1. Gen Cruz,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on this review of Andrew Jone’s book. He is a tremedous example of healing and it is sure needed!

      Melanie Davis

    1. Thank you Toni! I’m glad you took the time to read and comment on my review. This is one of my favorite military books of all time!

      Melanie Davis

  7. i look forward to picking up this book. I enjoy reading about real life experiences and especially if it helps expand my understanding to their trauma, which in return helps me with my work. I will be sharing this review with my friends who are military and those who work with the population.

    1. Jaime,
      The stories of our veterans can truly help people dealing with trauma, even if the trauma is from another source than battle; and often the trauma is from the war zones right here at home in the inner cities! It’s very interesting that chilren dealing with violence have a similar condition to our veterans’ PTSD called Effects of Community Violence, or ECV, which makes veterans who have successfully dealt with PTSD into terrific mentors for our at-risk youth!

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my review! I do hope you get the book and find it helpful.

      Melanie Davis

  8. I had seen this book on Facebook and I was waiting to hear some reviews on it. This is a great assessment of what to expect. Thank you. This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. I have a couple close buddies who could really use an avenue of release and I hope this book can kelp with that.

  9. I am so glad to have Melanie on the LiveTrue Book review team! I was happy to have her review one of her favorite military books. Now it is my turn to read~Thank you, Melanie, and commenters who have read and who are now inspired to read it! ~L

  10. This is a great review about a book that touches on a subject nobody wants to hear about but needs to.

    These brave men and women who have given so much and would do so again no matter the pain each in their own way tell their story reaching out to those who may not know who or where to turn to or may even feel alone in their burden.

    The fact that they have the strength to tell and share this as well as feeling the need to reach out to others who may be in the same situation only shows their strength of character.

    I hope those that need it will read it and know there is hope for their struggles.

    Thank you Melanie

    1. Charles, this book being a “subject nobody wants to hear about but needs to” is one reason I loved the idea of Melanie doing this review. It is a collection of live true stories more need to read, to be sure.

  11. This a great review of this book!! Andrew Jones and his writings are so inspirational to me!! His book is helping thousands, I can’t wait to see what he does next!!

  12. What a wonderfully worded and heart felt review, about one of the most valuable tools written to help understand our warriors and their families! Melanie, your words describe vividly the heart of Andtews work. And I thank you for them all! This is one book that every citizen of this country should read! It truly does expose the warrior heart and gives a voice to their families and loved ones as well. Thank you Andrew for opening yourself, and for allowing me to share mine too! Your book is a treasure that will be read as a part of our nations history for many years to come!

  13. This is what it’s about ! Impacting life with real life experiences. This is a great one to add to the the great ones. Thank you for shedding light on a true warriors heart.

  14. So many times, all vets want is for someone to understand, and often our first reaction is that our experiences can’t be explained and thus can never be understood by someone who wasn’t there. To some extent that is true, but being able to give a glimpse into our hearts and minds through writing deeply and honestly is exactly what Jones is trying to convey. His book exists so that people can try to understand, but also so he can understand it all himself.

  15. I think “Healing the Warrior Heart” is a great read. It’s helpful for our combat veterans – I feel the stories and poems express feelings and events and emotions to which they can relate. It’s helpful for civilians – it helps us try to understand what they have gone through, fought for and sacrificed. I have purchased it for both veterans and for those interested in PTSD and working with and supporting wounded warriors and combat vets.

  16. “Healing The Warrior Heart” really hits home and give a great perspective on our inner battles. Andrew Jones has brought our struggle to light in a very heartfelt way. We need more warriors like him to help spread the message of our inner struggle and the battle that never leaves us.

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