IRON MOUNTAIN - Erv Barnes, the author of "Beyond The Blood Chit" will hold two special appearances in Iron Mountain.
Barnes will be signing books at Book World in Iron Mountain on Wednesday July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Thursday, July 12, he will be at the Dickinson County Library in Iron Mountain to discuss "writing as recovery from Combat PTSD."
He will share his journey of recovery as it has been and continues to be enhanced by the learning processes of writing fiction and nonfiction.
"Beyond The Blood Chit" is set in Wisconsin as aging Vietnam Veteran Kenny Brewster struggles with his obsession with freedom from duty and guilt while he is compelled to serve again as protests and violence spread across America. He does his duty as a paramilitary Last Generation soldier even as he longs for his place beyond fighting and killing, his life beyond the blood chit.
"It's about PTSD recovery in a dysfunctional world," said Barnes. "Arab Spring comes to America, but much worse. There are uprisings all over the world. It's really about him dealing with his obsession to be free and run away and his compulsion to rescue people. He's torn between those two drives."
Barnes explained they both had similar experiences - Vietnam veterans, Special Forces.
"In his case, he's lost a little more," he said. "We would just like to return from conflict and go off and live in a peaceful place, but when something's happening we feel compelled to do something."
Before writing the book, Barnes didn't think much about PTSD, but learned more about it and began to see a lot of symptoms in himself.
After a friend's urging he was diagnosed with a mild case.
While writing his novel, he also began participating in individual and group treatment activities for combat PTSD through the Veterans Administration in Yuma, Ariz.
"I want to help people recognize PTSD symptoms in themselves and their loves ones," he states. "It causes so much trouble, it destroys relationships and lives."
Dr. Barnes is the son of a Wisconsin dirt farmer, a retired high school science teacher, and a Vietnam Veteran. He also completed the U.S. Army Special Forces officers course and several classes at Tom Brown's Tracking, Nature, and Wilderness Survival School.
He and his wife were residents of Florence County from 2001 until 2008 and return to their land each summer. Today, he teaches as an education professor in Yuma, Ariz., blogs on PTSD recovery at ervbarnes.wordpress.com, and travels back to Wisconsin with his wife, Nancy, sharing life with two daughters, three grandchildren, and other family.
"Beyond The Blood Chit" is available at the Book World in Iron Mountain and can also be found in paper and ebook formats on www.ErvBarnes.com and usual outlets and is available from Florence and Dickinson County Libraries.
It is literary fiction sharing the adventures and nuances of recovery from combat post traumatic stress disorder in the milieu of a Wisconsin and America descending into political and social chaos of promulgated fear.