The Eagle on My ArmHow the Wilderness and Birds of Prey Saved a Veteran's Life

The Eagle on My ArmHow the Wilderness and Birds of Prey Saved a Veteran's Life

Dava Guerin and Terry Bivens

Print publication date: 2021

ISBN: 9780813180021

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

The Eagle on My Arm details the journey to recovery of Vietnam veteran Patrick Bradley. Enlisting at the age of eighteen, Bradley was mortified by the scenes in the North Vietnam jungles, and found himself unable to cope. At a psychiatrist’s recommendation, Bradley traveled to the Canadian wilderness where he spent three years studying and documenting bald eagles and their behavior. He made groundbreaking discoveries during his research, linking the use of chemical DDT to the decrease in southern bald eagle populations. Additionally, he made notable progress in his recovery, able to better control his previously unmitigated anger and rage. Bradley teamed up with other veterans to form the Avian Veteran Alliance in 2015, a non-profit that pairs wounded warriors with injured birds of prey. Where the Eagles Soar, written by biographers Dava Guerin and Terry Bivens, is one of only a handful of books concerned with the unique link between avian therapy and wounded warrior recovery. Introducing the psychiatric benefits of avian and animal therapy is crucial to the cultural climate regarding mental health, and sheds light on positive and exciting alternatives in the study of PTSD among war veterans.