The long way home

The long way home

By Knut Arnljot Braa

“Is it like this every day down here?” I remember asking my boss, Lieutenant Ellefsen. It was my first day as a military policeman in the Norbatt contingent 9. in Lebanon.The date was June 5, 1982. The intense firing had increased in strength ever since I arrived in the village of Ebel Es Saqi, where parts of the Norwegian UN force were located. In the last few hours, counter-attacks from the PLO had approached in our area and, over our heads, Israeli helicopters and fighter jets flew back and forth.

“No,” said Ellefsen. “This is something new.”


On 6 June 1982, Israeli forces under the direction of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon launched a three-pronged invasion of southern Lebanon in “Operation Peace for Galilee”. … Israel’s publicly stated objective was to push PLO forces back 40 kilometers (25 mi) to the north. A lot more were at stake.


  • Experiences a 19-year-old soldier had during the Israeli / Palestinian war, peace for the Galilee.
  • His way back, and the encounter with civil society.
  • A psychologist concludes the book with a thorough review of PTSD.

When I was lying with my nose in the warm sand, inhaling the smell of gunpowder and burned plastic, minutes from being directly involved in a war I wasn’t prepared for – I experienced the darkest moment of my life. I knew then and there that from that moment, my life had taken a new turn. Maybe I would be dead in a few seconds; maybe I would make it. But no matter what, I knew that I would never fire my weapon into those human bodies down the road, if they came our way. Today, 20 years later, I am very proud of that decision.

Excerpt from The Long Way Home

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The long way home was published on Amazon some years ago. Being a success,  I decided, for a short period of time, to give it away to all those who find it interesting reading about veteran issues. (Combat stress, PTSD, medicine, missions)

The book is currently used by terapeuts, doctors, next of kin and it is even used as a handbook in dealing with combat stress in places like middle east and in the training of military personell. 


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