In Heroes are Human: Lessons in Resilience, Courage and Wisdom from the COVID Front Lines, we read gripping first-hand accounts by those thrust into the depths of the crisis.
This book is a must-read for health care workers who have been besieged by the ongoing pandemic, for those who love them, and for any reader wanting to gain a deeper understanding of their immense sacrifices and struggles. Heroes are Human also offers invaluable self-care insights in the face of trauma. The book’s central voice and guide, Bob Delaney, is an internationally respected and experienced figure in the field of post-traumatic stress. His powerful message to front-line caregivers is that they are not alone.
Delaney, along with co-author and award-winning journalist Dave Scheiber, published Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob (Sterling Publishing, 978-1-4027-5442-2, Hardcover, 2008; 978-1-4027-6714-2, trade paper, 2009) and Surviving the Shadows: A Journey of Hope into Post-traumatic Stress (Sourcebooks, 978-1-4022-6355-2, 2011).
Covert is the true story of Delaney’s undercover life in a landmark 1970s Mafia investigation, dubbed “Project Alpha,” for which he risked his life wearing a wire as a young New Jersey State Trooper, taking on a new identity as a mob associate. He also writes about his overcoming PTSD through the sport of basketball, and career as an elite NBA referee.
Surviving the Shadows tells the stories of brave men and women whose lives were plunged into despair by post-traumatic stress but who learned to cope, with Delaney’s help, by sharing their struggles with others who underwent similar trauma.
For more than a quarter of a century, Delaney was a fixture as a referee on the hardwood courts of the National Basketball Association (NBA). But what Delaney did—and has done—off the courts defines his true legacy: It is his less visible, life-saving work of the last four decades, helping active members and veterans of the U.S. armed forces, law enforcement, fire fighters, and first responders—the often under-appreciated heroes who put their lives on the line for the rest of us every day—cope with the devastating effects of post-traumatic stress.
Delaney comes by his healing wisdom from hard-won experience. He learned about PTSD first-hand, developing the condition after emerging from his grueling and prolonged undercover work. Helping others suffering from the debilitating effects of post-traumatic has been a driving force in his life.
Former President Barack Obama and senior-ranking military leaders have honored Delaney for his contributions to PTSD awareness—stemming from his multiple visits with U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.
In addition, Delaney was twice awarded the U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, presented by General Raymond T. Odierno (retired U.S. Army Chief of Staff) and Four-Star General (ret.) Robert W. Cone. In 2020, the NCAA bestowed its highest honor on him: the Theodore Roosevelt Award, previously given four U.S. presidents (Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan). More recently, Delaney has become deeply involved with the prestigious Harvard Global Mental Health initiative, which focuses on traumas and psychological burdens experienced throughout the world.