‘War Dogs’, a riveting true-life tale of fearless explosive detection dogs andtheir equally brave handlers during the war in Afghanistan, also exposes thesleeping issue of post traumatic stress disorder in civilian contractorsengaged in modern warfare.
A report by the Rand Corporation in the US found that contractors were twiceas likely to suffer PTSD than uniformed military veterans, yet they do nothave access to the same levels of healthcare and support.
The book tells the story of Shane Bryant, a former Australian Army and policedog handler from the Illawarra in NSW who served 10 years as a privatemilitary contractor in Afghanistan, initially on active service with the USmilitary.
First released in 2010, this expanded edition of War Dogs now tells the storyof Shane’s own battle with PTSD, brought on by repeated exposure to combat,and one particularly terrifying incident where Shane was nearly executed incold blood.
Shane’s story was brought to light by co-writer Tony Park, a fellowAfghanistan veteran and the author of 18 thriller novels set in Africa.
Although a foreign civilian, Shane’s service in Afghanistan began withattachments to elite US Army Special Forces A Teams in Uruzgan Province. WarDogs is also very much the story of Ricky and Benny, two plucky explosivedetection dogs, and the bonds that form between working dogs and theirhandlers.
Shane, Ricky and Benny and their human and animal friends seek out deadlyimprovised explosive devices (IEDs), and get caught in fire fights with theTaliban. The insidious nature of this war without frontlines is brought hometo Shane and his US brothers in arms when an undercover suicide bomber isdiscovered in their base.
Back home in Australia Shane finds that commuting to and from a war zone over10 years takes its toll on his relationships, and his children. He’s tornbetween having a sense of purpose in Afghanistan, and not being around for hisloved ones.
While uniformed military personnel deploy for fixed periods, War Dogs showsthat the world’s new breed of contract warriors – like Shane – often sign upfor a seemingly never ending tour of duty that almost inevitably takes itstoll.
War Dogs is available online in print, ebook and audio.
Visit: www.tonypark.net; Facebook: @wardogsbook; Instagram:@war_dogs_international
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