Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story Of War Trauma, Murder, And Madness by Diane CameronNever Leave Your Dead: A True Story Of War Trauma, Murder, And Madness by Diane Cameron

Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story Of War Trauma, Murder, And Madness

byDiane Cameron

Paperback | June 17, 2016

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Was Donald a traumatized veteran? A victim of abuse in the mental-health system? Was he a criminal? Mentally ill? Or just eccentric?Join author Diane Cameron as she unravels the true story of her stepfather, Donald Watkins, a former Marine who served in China from 1937 to 1939 during the Japanese invasion. After returning home, Donald's seemingly normal life took a sharp turn when he murdered his first wife and mother-in-law in 1953. As punishment for his crime, he spent twenty-two years at Fairview State Hospital for the criminally insane.Donald's story traverses continents and decades. Years after his release from Farview, Cameron's stark examination of her relationship with Donald and her mother highlights the far reach of mental illness. Her in-depth research and keen insight will stir public debate about what is happening today and what we can expect as the impact of war trauma for veterans and their families unfurls and detonates.Diane Cameronis an award-winning columnist. An excerpt fromNever Leave Your Deadwas first published in theBellevue Literary Reviewand was nominated for a 2006 Pushcart Prize.
Diane Cameron is an award-winning columnist whose topics include popular culture and social perspective. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, the Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Albany Times Union. Her column, 'The Common Write...
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Title:Never Leave Your Dead: A True Story Of War Trauma, Murder, And MadnessFormat:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 8.04 × 0.59 inPublished:June 17, 2016Publisher:Central Recovery Press, LLCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1942094167

ISBN - 13:9781942094166

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Leatherneck Magazine review: Cameron's book is both a swan song to her misunderstood Marine stepfather and a vivid testimonial on the varying and erratic symptoms of PTSD. She includes a short listing of the symptoms of PTSD and a suggested list of resources for veterans and their families in the hope of helping others. This enthralling little book reads like a well-conceived detective novel. Diane Cameron has produced an interesting and thought-provoking tale of war trauma, murder and madness but the unimaginable and tragic tale of Donald Watkins is told with the greatest care and heartfelt compassion."-Robert B. LoringPsychCentral Magazine review: "Full of the pain of war and horror of our history with mental illness, Never Leave Your Dead is by no means an easy read. And yet Cameron's approach fully embraces the sentiment of the title, a central ethos of the Marine Corps. She could have easily left Watkins' story untold, justified by the murder of two innocent women and her own complicated relationship to him. Instead, she asks us to consider Watkins' life and the implications of his experiences in the military and afterward. She encourages us to meditate on the effects of war and how we care for - or more often don't - those who come home after witnessing real horrors. And, using her own struggles, she draws meaningful connections between the pain of trauma and the pain of veterans' trauma, not creating an unreachable other, but instead unifying them and us in our common humanity."-Julie Pratt'It is a privilege to meet Diane Cameron through this book. She has made her own hero's journey and brought us back this boon. No sentimentality here!"-Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, author ofAchilles in Vietnam andOdysseus in America'Diane Cameron's Never Leave Your Dead, unfolding like a good psychological mystery, is at once heartfelt and unillusioned. It asks the hard questions and considers the harrowing evidence about violence and its impacts on the soul, but then looks to move past judgment. Here are images and perspectives that will not be forgotten, however much the reader hopes they might. To understand the power of forgiveness we need to understand what things need to be forgiven. Cameron instructs us in both.'-Sven Birkerts, author ofThe Gutenberg Elegies andThe Art of the Memoir'Wars never end for their survivors. Despite new diagnostic language and a culture at times sympathetic, military trauma all too often devastates the lives of our veterans and those who love them long after armistice. With this poignant, timely, and unforgettable memoir of her own effort to comprehend, Diane Cameron issues a powerful reminder that mental trauma is an intricate, three-dimensional problem-one that resists easy judgments and defies simple answers. Grounded in history, informedby psychiatry, and written with a rare blend of compassion and moral urgency, this is a powerful meditation on love, war, and our humanity. As our young men and women continue to return from Iraq and Afghanistan, may their families-and our national policy makers-read this important book and ponder its many valuable insights.'-Dr. Brian Matthew Jordan, author ofMarching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War'Diane Cameron is a teacher and historian who puts one Marine's life into the context of historical events-many which we have forgotten. She frames that man's trauma and that of many of the men we send to war. Part memoir, part history lesson, and part psychological mystery, Diane's book educates all of us about the complexity of a single life, and she helps us to understand and honor our warriors, past and present. As a clinician who worked with traumatized veterans at the VA for many years, I am moved by the compassion in Diane's understanding of what it means to be a Marine, and how the trauma of war can mold one's life forever. This is a compelling story and a well-researched history lesson that remains relevant today.'-Susan Griffiths, RN, MS, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Nursing"Diane Cameron's book is simply a tour-de-force-with the page-turning power of a world-class thriller. It is the story of one family member's attempt to create a coherent narrative out of the mind-numbing shards of war trauma. Cameron is a fierce detective-deeply well-informed-and every page of her determined inquiry moves us closer to a nuanced understanding of the effects of trauma on us all. The astonished reader of this book accompanies Cameron on her journey through a fog of cultural and clinical denial and superstition-and finally arrives with her at some profound and healing truths. I simply could not put this book down."-Stephen Cope, Senior Scholar-in-Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and best-selling author ofThe Great Work of Your Life andYoga and the Quest for the True Self "