To mark Veteran’s Day, we’re revisiting our2017 interview with author Sebastian Junger a journalist deeply engaged with war and the people who fight in them. As a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, he’s covered international stories including the war in Afghanistan, a region and subject he’s returned to over the course of his career. In this podcast, Sebastian Junger discusses his book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging which explores the complexities soldiers can find when they return from war. We talk about his research in anthropology, psychology and history as well as his own observations and experiences in his effort to understand why there are such high numbers of veterans suffering from PTSD. Junger argues there are primal human needs– for loyalty, a sense of belonging, and a connection to something bigger than ourselves and he discusses how service members often find this connection when they are deployed, and therefore returning home can leave some 21st-century combat veterans with a profound sense of loss. Added to that loss is a society disengaged from the war in which these veterans fought which Junger argues may account for the high-percentage of service members suffering from PTSD. He also discusses ways to address these concerns, the significance of the arts for Veterans and their families in confronting these challenging situations, and the importance of the work being done for veterans and service members through the NEA initiative Creative Forces.
For transcript: click here