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Cover art for the Navy’s new graphic novel aimed at helping first responders recognize and cope with combat stress.

The Navy has a new tool to help hospital corpsmen grapple with the realities and stresses of war and combat deployments.

The broad experiences of the expeditionary combat corpsman – “Doc” to Marines, Navy Seabees and other deployed sailors – are weaved into four fictional characters whose war stories unfold and lives intersect in Iraq in “The Docs: A Graphic Novel.

The book was developed by the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego and based on real-life corpsmen and Marines and situations they face in combat and their personal lives.

The NHRC created the 200-page novel for corpsmen as part of Navy Medicine’s “Care for the Caregiver” program.

“Many of them are asked to play these dual roles, to function as one of that line unit but when someone is hurt, they are immediately turned to the caregiver” role, said Heidi Kraft, an NHRC clinical psychologist and former lieutenant commander who penned a war memoir, “Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital.” Data shows “our expeditionary corpsmen are struggling with a lot of these issues, and certainly that is not a surprise.”

The novel’s creators wanted to develop a tool that was hip, relevant and resonating among corpsmen.

“Graphic novels are very, very popular with this age group,” Kraft said. “The idea was to give Navy corpsmen a training tool, whether they are a junior corpsman or senior master chief who has gone multiple times, at any level to think about what they face in combat.”

Source: Gidget Fuentes for Military Times.

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