Donna Bourke’s story No Longer A Soldier is the long-awaited sequel to her memoir Hidden Courage – My Life as a Female Australian Soldier. Donna’s post service story continues from the day of her medical discharge from the army after a career spanning over three decades. Despite the reality and challenges of managing post-traumatic stress, debilitating physical injuries, and facing the darkness of suicidal ideations, this story is one of courage. With a determination that trauma would not define, nor be her new identity, Donna’s hope and positivity shines through, proving that life moves forward. Successfully discovering her newfound purpose and identity, this story is a must read for anyone struggling or facing trepidation when faced with uncertainty. But this time, it isn’t all about Donna. Five current and ex-serving veterans have added their voices with powerful stories that will surprise and educate the reader on a life of service.
Donna Bourke has followed her memoir, Hidden Courage – My Life as a Female Australian Soldier, with her post-service story. In No Longer A Soldier, Donna and her colleagues share their lives, vulnerabilities, and experiences with us in a raw and honest way. Donna discusses her struggle with the black dog (PTSD) and her fight to tame it. I say tame it because, being a victim of the black dog myself, I now believe it’s not something that one completely recovers from. You just learn how to manage it more efficiently. However, it is the bravery of these soldiers in the field and the battles they face afterwards which is to be admired. Donna and the current and ex-serving members who contributed their voices to this book share that bravery with all of us. Well done! Keith Payne VC AM
A sense of isolation, indeed abandonment, steps out of these poignant, often compelling accounts of people leaving our Navy, Army and Air Force after years of service. They powerfully urge us all to do better in the care of all of this part of our national treasure in their lives, in and out of uniform. General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC (Mil) CVO MC (Retd) Former Governor-General of Australia and Chief of the Defence Force