Coming Home – featuring Rwandan veteran John Enchong and Naomi Enchong (Melzer, 2014)
Rwandan veteran John Enchong served in the Royal Australian Army for almost twenty-one years. By 2001 he had broken his back and ‘broken his mind’. John was identified as having PTSD and medically discharged on TPI (totally and permanently incapacitated), which ended his military career. John speaks about his struggles with PTSD symptoms and his failed attempts at suicide. John attended a PTSD course at Toowong Private Hospital and was asked to leave after three days due to his aggressive behavior.
During his short stay at the hospital, he met a Vietnam veteran who would write his thoughts down on paper and then burn the paper, as a form of therapy. John started to do the same. His wife, Naomi, discovered a poem one day that he was writing on the computer desk and it brought tears to her eyes. Naomi encouraged John to keep the poem. John gained confidence to keep writing, finding it therapeutic to slow his mind. He has written several books of poetry, raw, sad, emotional and beautiful.