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America’s policy of never-ending war comes at an incalculable price, and it’s our military — our youth — who get stuck carrying the debt. At The Warrior’s Return: From Surge to Suburbia, that ghastly cost, reckoned in loss of life, limbs, innocence and even sanity, will be addressed by two particularly capable speakers: Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Finkel, author of acclaimed books The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service, and clinical psychologist Albert “Skip” Rizzo, director for medical virtual reality at the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC. Finkel, through his exhaustive research, experience and interviews, is intimately acquainted with the struggles and distress that burden our veterans, but Rizzo actively confronts PTSD with immersive simulations that directly re-create specific instances of trauma. He returns his patients to the very moment that plagues them, allowing them to confront the terror head-on. It’s a fascinating field: Rizzo gives these ex-soldiers a set of virtual-reality goggles, hands them a weapon and fires up the tech gear. They’re plunged back into combat mode, replete with goosebumps and adrenaline surges, negotiating what Rizzo calls an “emotional obstacle course.” The slightly sci-fi trappings of virtual reality aside, this discussion is all about human emotion, relief and recovery from trauma — the most boundlessly engaging subject of them all. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth Street, dwntwn.; Mon., Oct. 27, 7:15 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 228-7025, lfla.org.

Mon., Oct. 27, 2014
(Expired: 10/27/14)

LA Weekly