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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 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 post-traumatic stress disorder (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 begins 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, t just for the military, but for anyone with an interest in how we experience trauma and survive.
MATTHEW GREEN has spent the past 14 years working as a correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters and has reported from more than 30 countries, most recently Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he investigated subjects including the money men bankrolling the Taliban and the kingpins behind Pakistan's heroin trade. After studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University, he began his career with Reuters, working in east and west Africa and in Iraq, where he was embedded with US Marines during the invasion in 2003. He later joined the Financial Times, working in Nigeria and then Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he spent time with US forces deployed to Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the Obama administration's troop surge. Green is now based in London and appears regularly as a commentator on the BBC News Channel and World Service radio, and writes for publications including Monocle magazine and the Literary Review. His first book was The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Joseph Kony, which won a Jerwood Award from the Royal Society of Literature and was long-listed for the Orwell Prize. www.matthewgreenjournalism.com