The Last and Greatest Battle by John Bateson
The Last and Greatest Battle – the first book devoted exclusively to the problem of military suicides – shines a light on the true stories of individual soldiers, illuminating the unique challenges faced by American troops when transitioning from the front lines to the home front. Despite the millions of dollars the military spends on suicide prevention programs, record numbers of soldiers continue to take their lives.
Bateson, the former executive director of a nationally certified suicide prevention center, explores the history of suicide in the United States military from the Civil War to the present day and outlines a plan to ultimately end the tragedy of military suicides. If the military works to remove the stigma, make treatment more effective and accessible, and limit risk factors for suicide to begin with, an end to the crisis of military suicide is as achievable as it is essential.
Praise for The Last and Greatest Battle:
“This is an incredibly important book. John Bateson incorporates historical landmarks, cutting-edge data, and deeply textured real-life cases of suicide in the military to arrive at compelling recommendations for policy makers, military families, and mental health clinicians. Bateson is a meticulous researcher and a masterful writer. Understanding and effectively addressing military suicides begins here.”
–W. Brad Johnson, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law, U. S. Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins University
“Suicide in the military is of urgent national concern, and the need for a book like this is pretty clear. The Last and Greatest Battle is a welcome addition to the literature on this topic. Bateson has had decades of experience in the field of suicide prevention and is an excellent writer. I highly recommend this book to anyone affected by military suicide, as well as those who are interested in learning what’s behind the problem and how we can address it.”
–Thomas Joiner, PhD, The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University