The first time B.D. encounters command-rape survivor Melissa Wheeler in the waiting room at the VA Center, he has no idea what to make of the scowling former chopper mechanic.
But in the months that follow, witnessing Mel’s pain and her healing process help him with his own, and B.D. ends up a staunch and encouraging ally. With the help of VA counsellors Cora and Elias, Wheeler is able to reframe her experience and move forward to the point where she re-ups and re-deploys, though the trauma and betrayal continue to haunt her. She and battlebud Roz masterfully manage a perilous rescue op of a downed USO chopper, and in the new post-DATD world the now-out Roz and her now-superior (That’s SERGEANT bitch to you!) help wind down US ops in Afghanistan. Returning stateside, Mel’s final obstacle is her father’s cluelessness and a widespread reluctance to hear the truth of her story. As always, Trudeau manages to find humour and humanity in even a tale of suffering, and sheds serious light on one of the most pressing and undermining problems in our military today.
- Cat. No.