Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Our Soldiers are Returning / Write Your Heart Out

The holidays are upon us and the busy-ness is endless, so today I've done something different . . .

Our soldiers have returned from Iraq this week, just in time for the holidays, and I decided to repost a blog from May . . . which shows what's in my heart and why I write

My heart is over-joyed for these families that have been reunited, yet in the dark recesses of my mind, I remember so well and worry.  My prayers are that these men and women are counseled and debriefed before being expected to fit back into society, and are given a solid contact name to call, if needed.  Someone who has been where they have been, someone they can trust with their feelings!  Also, that their families and friends have compassion and patience as these warriors try to adjust back into family life.

This is their GREATEST DESIRE . . . please remember where they've been and what they've been through.

The trick is keeping your heart open.     Natalie Goldberg

May 5, 2011

This blog began as a tool to move me into publishing.  Accountability for my time and actions was my purpose.  Most entries have been lighthearted and chatty, other than the first.  But the time has come when I must share more.  And I'm uncomfortable.  So please bear with me.

Write your heart out.  Never be ashamed of your subject and your passion for your subject.     Joyce Carol Oates

War has gone on since the beginning of man's creation.  And will continue until the end of time.  This necessary evil brings death and pain not only to its victims, but also to the warriors and their loved ones covering our small planet.  It's not the way we'd like it to be . . . it is the way it is.

Brave men and women fight wars in hostile lands where life is valued differently.  Armed with rifles, they're exposed to sights and sounds no human being should ever witness.  And at times, they must engage in unthinkable acts to save their friends, which riddles them with shame and guilt.  Or they survive an ambush and the others don't. 

Can you imagine the horror? 

It's not a movie in the theater you pay to watch . . . it's real life!  And it's happening this moment in remote parts of the world.  How does a warrior return to a normal life with this running through their head?

It's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder . . . a normal reaction to abnormal life threatening stress. 

Those who know me know my story.  They know what I wrote about, and why.  And those who don't know me, other than through this blog, will one day share an experience . . . one that will be hard to forget.

My book?  It's a love story.  And shows how I met the love of my life and we were married.  He was a Vietnam vet.  I didn't know he had post traumatic stress disorder.  I didn't know what post traumatic stress disorder was.  Nor did I know I would develop PTSD from living with my husband's illness. 

The ravages of war tainted our marriage eclipsing it into a nightmare.  And by grace alone, my love gave me the strength and the courage to survive.

I Corinthians 13:4-7  Love suffers long and is kind . . . bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  

Excerpt from my book proposal . . .

Diary of a Vet's Wife shows the innocence of love unblemished with hope and promise, unaware of the imminent demons vowing destruction.  And all too soon her impossible dream is shattered by nightmares her husband doesn't recall and hidden pain he refuses to share.  Her love is unyielding, her journey is long.  She retreats to a life of secrets in order to spare the children and her family from the truth, yet she has no place to turn.

The reader will slip into her world like a fly on the wall as she takes them places most have never been, while bonding with others who know the terrain that only love dare travel.

So there you have it . . .

Lesson learned . . . my two cents

Be open to your readers opinions . . . they're one of the reasons you write.

Show compassion to our brave men and women who have served and suffered for this nation, and our safety. You never know what a person is going through by looking at them.  Would you lay down your life for your country?  Please do me a favor.  When you see someone in uniform, or meet someone who has served in our military, go up to them, shake their hand and say, "Thank you."  It would mean so much to them.  I know from experience . . .


  1. Yes, I heard the news! My son comes home from training camp. I'm so excited! I can only imagine how others feel with their sons/husbands/fathers "over there". If I'm excited by this, their excitement must be ten fold!
    I always have time to check out your blog entries; I make sure I do. Thanks for this.

  2. Yes, it's not all over when the discharge papers are signed, is it?

    We should always honor our servicemen and women, and their spouses. Whether it's "a good war" or "a bad war" really doesn't matter for those called on to fight it.

    Thank you, for YOUR service, Nancy.

  3. Thank you for reminding us of the significance of this event. My 13 year old son is in a Navy program and was supposed to have a winter training at Camp Pendleton. The training had to be relocated which was an inconvenience, but the commanders of the program were celebrating because the relocation was ordered so some Marines could come home early to have Christmas with their families. Something definitely worth celebrating.....

  4. Nancy, I am miles away from your country but when I heard President Obama announce the end of the war and the return of your troops, tears welled. It's about time they all return to their families! Wishing for opened hearts this X'mas.


  5. SL - I'm so excited for you having your son home for Christmas. What better gift? Yes, many families are blessed this year to have a loved one return from war. May these reunions be filled with peace and love, and may the New Year bring patience and understanding to these fragile relationships as they work to rebuild a new life together.

  6. Beverly - Thank you. Your words speak from experience. These warriors return different than when they left. Families must remember where their loved ones have been. Most will not talk about it! But it lives inside of them.

    My wish is that families gently seek help at the "first sign" of a problem. There's help available, please use it. Our service men and women need love, patience and support on the road ahead. It's critical . . .

  7. Sheryl - Thank you for sharing. This is a heartfelt occasion throughout the country, and the world . . . read the post after yours. These warriors have sacrificed and given their all for this country. If I were president, they'd have a parade. Instead, all we can do is say, "Thank you." This will show them we care and respect them.

  8. Claudine - I'm so happy you stopped by. I hopped over to your blog and found it delightful. Some of my most favorite stories, Velveteen Rabbit being one. Have a wonderful holiday with your family, and may all your heartfelt wishes come true.

  9. I do smile at them, but have never said thank you. I was always worried I would be intruding on their space, but your right. Thank you for keeping a lit candle in your heart - your voice keeps up aware.

  10. Brenda, your words are so kind. I want those who have never been to war to understand the full impact of PTSD, which affects us all like a pebble dropped in a brook.

    Each warrior is a hero and should be treated with respect. Each should be debriefed with regular follow-ups, which would help eliminate most of the aftermath of PTSD. This is the least they deserve.