By Jonathan Kaplan,the author of "The Dressing Station" and "Contact Wounds," on his experiences as a volunteer surgeon in Iraq and other warsWednesday, November 1, 2006; Page C07
Among the Soldiers of Ward 57
By Michael Weisskopf
Henry Holt. 301 pp. $25
The war in Iraq has meant new patterns of injury. Better U.S. body armor often keeps soldiers alive despite the massive force of explosions that rip off arms and legs; such victims would have died from multiple organ rupture in earlier conflicts. Meanwhile, the very nature of the war, with its prolonged exposure to relentless tension in a conflict with few clear front lines, is likely to induce post-traumatic stress disorder in many soldiers; a recent review revealed that 9 percent of Vietnam veterans still suffered from PTSD a dozen years after that war ended.