For me personally, book reviews are generally more difficult to write up. Maybe it’s just because it’s not as sexy as a suppressed short barreled rifle or high-speed piece of tactical gear. Not the case AT ALL with Nick Koumalatsos’s new book, Excommunicated Warrior. Through this book, Nick covers the 7 stages of transition when leaving the military or experiencing major life changes. I will caveat this by saying this is not your run of the mill therapy book for veterans struggling post-military. Halfway into the first chapter, I was hooked. Why? Because being a former Marine myself, I was able to insert myself into the book as I was reading it. It was as if Nick had interviewed me and wrote a book about it.
I can still remember the day I walked into the admin office of 2nd Battalion 8th Marines on Camp Lejeune and signed my paperwork to freedom. Driving off the base that cool sunny morning, I was a mixed bag of emotions, but mostly excited for the freedom I could now enjoy. I could now sleep in however long I wanted, not have to PT every morning and not be told where to go and when. My plan was to take a week or two and do absolutely nothing but catch up on all the sleep I lost, then get a job and start making a living. Well, neither worked out well at all. I wasn’t able to sleep through the nights and getting a job was, well, not working out. I job hopped for about my first 5 jobs. I literally would not last an entire day at any of them. Fast forward and I’ve been able to get my shit together, but it wasn’t an easy road. Wish I had this book 20 years ago.
After reading through Excommunicated Warrior I was able to look back over my life to date and identify with damn near everything Nick mentioned. The subject that stood out the most to me though was sleep. If you’re unable to get the sleep you need, you’re going to be miserable and unmotivated. I’ve been around the block when it comes to this subject and I shit you not, I picked up a few nuggets of information from this book that I’m implementing immediately.
Blue light. Yeah, that is bad stuff and is very counterproductive to sleep. Blue light is emitted from electronics such as your television, tablet, computer and smartphone. Both my iPhone and and MacBook Pro have a feature called Night Shift which, when enabled, shifts the color to the warmer end of the color spectrum, thus reducing the blue light that is emitted.
I don’t want to giveaway too much of whats in the book, but I highly recommend it to anyone exiting the military, retiring or just going through a big life change. It should be included in your EAS package from the military as far as I’m concerned. The more you know up front, the better you’ll be prepared to tackle the challenges head-on. I shit you not, when I went through my 1-day class on transitioning to a normal life outside the military, they literally told us to “get your resume in order and get rid of the white walls.” That was it!