Veterans are close to my heart. My father-in-law served in World War II and was a soldier in Patton's army. We miss him. My dad was also a soldier in World War II, and he is always close in my thoughts. Especially today. In addition, my college years were impacted by the Vietnam War and many of my high school and college classmates served. I wrote to a serviceman in Vietnam for two years and still have his letters with the details of his service there. A few years ago I wrote about a veteran hero in The Bracelet and beforehand read diaries that one of our community colleges had collected-oral transcripts of servicemen's lives in Vietnam. They touched me deeply and gave me greater respect and admiration for these men and women.
In all my research, one thing was clear. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was ignored for years, although these veterans and their families recognized the symptoms all too well. I brought it to the forefront, not only in The Bracelet but in a SSE Twins Under His Tree. This issue is important because we need to remember what our soldiers face after they come home. Time doesn't always heal.
When I began my research for my hero in Twins, I was interested in learning more about the National Guard...about men who didn't realize they'd be called to war and multiple tours of duty. The public information officer at a nearby Guard headquarters was instrumental in helping me develop my hero-from his career to his discharge. As the months went by, he was deployed to Iraq and answered many of my questions from there. In both of these books, I wanted to deal with the scars that are deeper than physical wounds and the power of love that can help heal them. My family members, classmates and servicemen I interviewed were honorable men, brace and quiet about they they'd experienced.
On this Veterans Day, I want to give tribute to all who serve and pray that they are uplifted by the power of love.