Return to Harvest

The novel, Return to Harvest is an intriguing story of two combat veterans who were trained as Army Rangers and served two combat tours in Iraq. You follow these two life long friends through the trauma of their last long range patrol to their Western North Carolina hometown where they struggle to rebuild their lives. Driven by their desperation to numb the darkness of unspeakable memories, they turn to sex and booze which leads to betrayal, hurt, confusion and problems with the law. After a life threatening experience, they are forced to face the reality they are suffering from PTSD.

Through the urging of family and an increasing sense of desperation, they reluctantly agree to participate with eight other combat veterans in a PTSD treatment program led by a psychologist they call, “Doc.” They share a sense of urgency to find some relief from suicidal thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, isolation and depression. Two of the veterans face an additional crisis. A female veteran lost an arm and a male lost vision in one eye.

Doc introduces them to a new form of “basic training” which is received with mixed reactions. In and outside the group, you walk with them through their hopelessness, rage, despair, and tears. They experience hope and possibility not only through what Doc teaches, but through the close bond that forms between these soldiers that share the experience of combat. They stand together to cry, laugh and relive their trauma to find hope for recovery from a source they never expected.

The material for this novel is taken from my forty years experience in working with clients who suffer from PTSD, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, acute stress, and anxiety. It is inspired by many of these clients who discovered, embraced, and believed in the potential of the human spirit within them and were determined and committed to doing whatever it took to access that potential and find the resources for hope and new beginnings.

There are degrees of severity with PTSD. If you are suffering from this disorder, please get help from professionals trained in the treatment of PTSD. This novel is in no way intended to be a substitute for seeking and obtaining appropriate medical and psychological treatment. This novel is intended and designed to demonstrate that there is hope for the combat veteran and anyone else suffering from this disorder. It serves only informational and educational purposes.

Comments on the Book

“Using a modality as ancient as Aesop, Banks weaves a fascinating modern tale of the darkness that lies within many of us. His novel is both incredibly entertaining and helpful (a rare combination in my experience), and is a must read for those who have ever wished they could unsee an event in their lives. Within the pages of this fictional story rest real solutions. Enjoy and heal.”

Larry Vaughan, M. Ed., LPCC, CADC. Lexington, Kentucky

“Romance, conflict, good therapeutic information blend to form a gripping story about soldiers returning from the horrors of war and trying to transition into “normal” life.  Suffering invisible wounds labeled Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, this story is about the long path to healing and impact on families.  Victims and healers of PTSD will see themselves and others will learn about the steps it takes to make the long heroic journey to a hopeful end.   Both spell binding and informative.”

David W. Sharrard, Th.D. Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Care & Counseling at Lexington Theological Seminary. Lexington, Kentucky.