Sunday, November 10, 2013

#Veterans Day Thanks by Karen Rose Smith

When I was a child, my aunt and mom had 8 x 10 framed photographs sitting in our living rooms that were portraits of my dad and his brothers who served.  They were front and center, though my dad and uncles never spoke of their service and the rest of the family never asked questions.  One of my uncles was lost in World War II.  Although I never met Johnny, his face is still clear in my mind because of that photograph.

My father-in-law served in World War II and was a soldier in Patton's army.  We miss him.  My dad was a soldier in WW II also.  He has passed on, too, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him.  Veterans Day brings back lots of memories.  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.  Because I've written Veteran heroes in several of my books, I've 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 and sometimes still is. This issue is important because we need to remember what our soldiers face after they come home as well as what they face in their service.  Time doesn't always heal. When I delve into PTSD in my novels, I do it because I want to deal with the scars that are deeper than physical wounds and the power of love that can help our heroes heal.  My family members, classmates and the servicemen I interviewed were and are honorable men, brave and quiet about everything they've experienced.

On this Veterans Day, I want to thank and give tribute to all who serve, and I pray that they are uplifted by the power of love.

©2013 Karen Rose Smith
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