Monday, December 5, 2016

AFTER: The Battle Has Just Begun - R.J. Belle (Review)

28696518AFTER: The Battle Has Just Begun by R.J. Belle
Publication date:
May 9, 2016

Publisher: RJ Belle Books
Format: paperback, 140 pages
How I got it: I won this book from a giveaway
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 5/5

Meet eight combat-injured men who sustained life-altering injuries. Read eight inspiring stories of heroism and the re-building of independent, productive and fulfilling lives after seemingly impossible circumstances.

This project took me through an eye-opening experience where I was forced to consider and attempt to analyze statistical data provided by the VA and other sources. I researched veteran healthcare, injury rates, suicide rates, disability ratings, and caregivers, ad nauseam. My conclusion upon analyzing these statistics was far less concerning than the grim reality of the lives and struggles I heard about and witnessed. Being face-to-face with combat-injured veterans gave me an insight that all Americans should have. This project forced me to open my mind and shook my beliefs about government, politics and war to the core.

This book isn't about war or politics - it is about figuring out what it takes to move forward AFTER the war. I wrote this book to raise awareness of what our warriors need most when they return, what the government does and doesn't provide and why there is high demand for private non-profits to fill the gaps. Make no mistake - we are in this period of recovery and rehabilitation for decades to come.

It's not about the war; it’s about the warrior.

AFTER also introduces a non-profit organization that assists our combat-injured men and women with the daunting transition from military to civilian life.
100% of the proceeds benefit Warrior Foundation~Freedom Station.


My thoughts:

This book follows eight veterans who were wounded while at war and received life altering injuries.   The author does an amazing job setting up each story for the veteran I felt while I was reading that I was very connected to each and every one of them.   The stories are very traumatic to read and we do get a very clear picture of what happened to each individual before and after.   The author does not shy away from the details that might stop some people from reading.

I felt like the author really took pride while writing this book.  As a reader you can tell this book is very well researched and the author gives her own opinion as well as giving us a large amount of facts to digest about each veteran and each case.   I personally had no idea what type of programs existed for veterans, but I did know that a lot of veterans do struggle.   This book really enlightened me not only about veterans, but what people are experiencing today during conflicts.  I honestly would read the news stories, but not fully digest what was going on, this book goes into the right amount of details to really show you what the soldiers are expecting when they go into places of conflict and as well as what is happening while in areas of conflict. 

I would suggest this as a nighttime read.  It might be a harder topic for some people to read at night.  It didn’t really help me wind down at night, but it really made me think about other things outside of my daily life.  It gave me a whole new perspective of veterans and also informed me of other programs that existed for veterans. 

I found this book to be very educational and informative.  I would highly recommend reading this book if you want to know more about veterans.  It was a very quick read and really hit a personal note for me.


About the Author

Mom, Author, Fitness Freak and coffee lover.

R.J. Belle began writing as a teenager as a way to express her creative side.
In 2013, she found herself spending a great deal of time working on plot
development and character creation, and decided to make the jump into writing for publication.
After spending 15 years in the lending industry, R.J. Belle left her career to write full time and
within three months, she published her first Fiction Mystery Novel, First One Down: A Paul Sutton series novel.

First One Down has been among Amazon's Top 100 multiple times since 2014. With a new stunning cover and additional editing, First One Downre-released in April 2016. Book two in the Paul Sutton series, Second Sight, will release in early 2017.

R.J. will released her first non-fiction project in 2016, titled AFTER: The Battle Has Just Begun. After explores the daunting task of physical and emotional recovery and rehabilitation for eight combat-injured men and the private non-profit that assisted in all eight transitions.
AFTER awards:
NIEA Finalist, 2016.
IAN Book of the Year, New Non-Fiction, 2016.

R.J. Belle lives in Southern California with her family.
She enjoys writing, reading, running, coffee and her bulldogs.

Author Links:
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