Human Interest

In "Forget You Must Remember," local author and Army veteran Nathan Hansen fictionalizes his own psychological break and subsequent intake into a mental ward within Carl Hayden Veterans Hospital in Phoenix.

“When I sat down to write this, I knew it was a story that needed to be told — because it’s a story, by my estimation, that tens of thousands of quiet veterans know all too intimately,” Hansen stated. “Ideally, I’d love to raise awareness for veterans’ causes and mental illness, but first people have to realize there’s an issue.”

According to Hansen, “Forget You Must Remember” is inspired in part by unacceptable conditions for returned service members. Currently, veterans are 50 percent more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts. Every day, veterans die because of the inefficiency of the VA health care system.

“Why don’t veterans have the same health care as members of Congress who send them to war?” Hansen asked. “In the meantime, these same congress people defund the VA. Granted, we’re talking about my book, not legislation. My book is just words. The thing is, the oaths service members took were, too, and that commitment should be reciprocated.”

During the writing of the autobiographical novel, Hansen made use of an admittedly unusual narrative device: The second-person perspective. You, as both reader and main character, experience what Hansen describes as an aimless journey “through a system of diagnoses and pharmaceutical regimens.”

To read the full story, see the Wednesday, Oct. 14, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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