Exit Wounds: One Australian's War On Terror
Melbourne University Publishing, Oct 1, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
´This is my story, but it is also the story of thousands of Australian veterans from Iraq, East Timor, Afghanistan and other conflicts who bare similar emotional scars. This is what becomes of those men and women we send off to war, pay little attention to, then forget once they are home.═ As a country boy from Queensland, John Cantwell signed up to the army as a private and rose to the rank of major general. He was on the front line in 1991 as Coalition forces fitted bulldozer blades to tanks and buried alive Iraqi troops in their trenches. He fought in Baghdad in 2006 and saw what a car bomb does to a marketplace crowded with women and children. In 2010 he commanded the Australian forces in Afghanistan when ten of his soldiers were killed. He returned to Australia in 2011 to be considered for the job of chief of the Australian Army. Instead, he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Exit Wounds is the compassionate and deeply human account of one man═s tour of the War on Terror, the moving story of life on a modern battlefield: from the nightmare of cheating death in a minefield, to the poignancy of calling home while under rocket fire in Baghdad, to the utter despair of looking into the face of a dead soldier before sending him home to his mother. He has hidden his post traumatic stress disorder for decades, fearing it will affect his career. Australia has been at war for the past twenty years and yet there has been no stand-out account from these conflicts Exit Wounds is it. Raw, candid and eye-opening, no one who reads this book will be unmoved, nor forget its imagery or words.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Carpe_Librum - LibraryThing
Major General John Cantwell (retired) has written a sobering account of his career with the Australian Army in the first person, with the editing and guidance of Greg Bearup with the result being the ... Read full review
As close to Iraq and Afghanistan as I ever want to get..
John shows his brilliance, not just in Service/leadership but an incredible talent for writing (communication).
Also amazing courage, from the dark desert nights to his honesty in the epilogue vs prologue
This book re-affirms why all decent Australians know. They are truly in debt - to the commitment and lifelong sacrifices made by armed forces personnel.
My father gave 38-years of Service too, I read this book to help me understand what role his exit wounds played in his death. What helped was identifying with the entire book (life of an army man) however chapter 32 really hit home as to why he was taken from us.
Thank you John.
A fantastic, electrifying read and insight into the heart of a great man and amazing Australian.