Wizard 6

Wizard 6 : A Combat Psychiatrist in Vietnam

3.6 (5 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Wizard 6" describes my tour of duty as a psychiatrist assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam during 1969 and 1970. It was another existence. We referred to home as "the world."...As with any combat environment, there was the irony of military psychiatrists helping men adjust to a crazy place. In 1969 six psychiatrists were assigned to combat divisions in Vietnam, charged with treating soldiers showing psychiatric symptoms in order to get them back into battle. Doug Bey, whose radio call name in the 1st Infantry Division was Wizard 6, was one of those psychiatrists. Drawing on graphic detail gleaned from a journal Bey transcribed when he got back stateside, this psychiatric specialist describes the daily life of a military support unit, the boredom and mind-numbing routine, but also the social issues and psychiatric crises he confronted. In Vietnam he treated people with a range of coping mechanisms, including counter phobic reactions, self-medication with drugs and alcohol, and "gross stress reaction," as well as the gamut of psychiatric illnesses. Each month Bey and his staff saw some four hundred men, including characters like the Vietnam equivalent of Klinger from Mash, a killer dentist, soldiers addicted to killing, and others who did not want to go home. He witnessed firsthand black pride, Vietnamese prejudice, racial conflict, and the Viet Cong's fear of mental illness. Bey's book provides a rare and powerful account that views the immediacy of combat from the perspective of thirty-five years in psychiatric practice and extensive study of combat and post-combat psychology. "Wizard 6" offers new perspectives on the Vietnam war and its aftermath and draws cautious comparisons with the issues today's troops may face both in the field and when they return home.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 152.4 x 233.7 x 17.8mm | 521.64g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • 11 b&w photos, index
  • 1585445193
  • 9781585445196

Review quote

"A rare, insightful, compelling, and excellent memoir of the Vietnam war. Bey makes a significant contribution to the literature on the Vietnam War and his unique perspective as the 1st Division's psychiatrist enhances this contribution. His presentation of army psychiatrist practices stateside and in Vietnam is informative and contravenes popularly held misconceptions about the extent and nature of psychiatric casualties in Vietnam. I know of no comparable book."--William M. McBride, United States Naval Academyshow more

About Douglas Bey

DOUGLAS BEY completed his medical degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago, as well as a rotating internship and a three-year residency at the Menninger School of Psychiatry, before serving in the U.S. Army. He is now semi-retired but continues to practice psychiatry on a limited scale in Normal, Illinois. Bey has written a number of professional articles about men in battle.show more

Rating details

5 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 20% (1)
4 20% (1)
3 60% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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