The story review from Publishers weekly
On October 17, 2006, 28-year-old Iraq war veteran Zackery Bowen leapt to his death from a New Orleans hotel roof, leaving a suicide note directing police to the dismembered body of his girlfriend, Addie Hall. In journalist Brown's (Snitch) account of Bowen's life, the deterioration of the vet suffering from PTSD parallels that of Katrina-whipped New Orleans, its residents left as stranded as unsupported veterans like Bowen. A high school dropout, New Orleans bartender and a father at age 18, Bowen was determined to improve himself and do well by his child and Lana, his wife, and enlisted in the army, serving as an MP in Kosovo and Iraq. Granted what Brown says was an unfair general (under honorable conditions) discharge, Bowen returned to New Orleans in late 2004, where, abandoned by Lana, he began a turbulent relationship with Hall, culminating in Bowen methodically dismembering and cooking her remains. After covering the murder-suicide for Penthouse in 2007, Brown moved to New Orleans, and his detailed reconstruction of both Bowen's life and the city's deterioration make heartbreaking reading. Perhaps most poignant is the message painted on Bowen's apartment wall: please help me stop the pain.
While I know first hand that the services for returning veterans are pathetic, I’m not convinced that the symptoms of PTSD lead you to become an individual as demented and or tortured as Zackery Bowen. The review of the book leads me to believe that the story may be worth a read…if not a little uncomfortable perhaps.
What bugs me a little bit is the constant blame given to PTSD for Veterans…are we becoming suspect more than other groups. They depicted Vietnam Vets in a socially unacceptable manner for years in the media and the stigma is pervasive in depictions of those that served. Are Iraq and Afghanistan Vets heading for the same treatment?