Rule Number Two

Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital


By Heidi Squier Kraft

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$22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 22, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

When Lieutenant Commander Heidi Kraft’s twin son and daughter were fifteen months old, she was deployed to Iraq. A clinical psychologist in the US Navy, Kraft’s job was to uncover the wounds of war that a surgeon would never see. She put away thoughts of her children back home, acclimated to the sound of incoming rockets, and learned how to listen to the most traumatic stories a war zone has to offer.

One of the toughest lessons of her deployment was perfectly articulated by the TV show M*A*S*H: “There are two rules of war. Rule number one is that young men die. Rule number two is that doctors can’t change rule number one.” Some Marines, Kraft realized, and even some of their doctors, would be damaged by war in ways she could not repair. And sometimes, people were repaired in ways she never expected.

Rule Number Two is a powerful firsthand account of providing comfort admidst the chaos of war, and of what it takes to endure.


  • "Every American needs to read this."
    General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret), former commander of U.S. Central Command
  • "One of the most amazing books I have ever read..."
    Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman, USA (Ret), author of On Killing and On Combat
  • "A necessary but uncomfortable book for anyone wishing to understand."
    Jay Freeman, Booklist
  • "The welcome mat for memoirs by veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom might never wear out so long as they write with the sincerity of Squier Kraft...(who) wins respect with genuine empathy."
    J. Ford Huffman, Military Times

On Sale
May 22, 2012
Page Count
272 pages
Back Bay Books

Heidi Squier Kraft

About the Author

Heidi Squier Kraft received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1996. After several years as a flight psychologist with the US Navy, she gave birth to twins in 2002. In February 2004, she deployed to Iraq for seven months. She left active duty in March 2005 after nine years in the Navy, and is now Deputy Program Coordinator, US Navy Combat Stress Control. She lives in San Diego with her husband and kids.

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