Thursday, 4 July 2013

PTSD / Diary of a Vet's Wife goes to The White House

The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and you lived well.            Ralph Waldo Emerson 

   Today, July 4, 2013 is the perfect day to be waiting for a USPS confirmation showing Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has arrived at the WHITE HOUSE!

This surprising challenge began May 18th with an email from Pets for Vets. "... Attended a GI Film Festival in Washington DC last month, where a documentary on Pets for Vets by a USC student was one of 50 films shown out of 1000 submitted. Several other films dealt with PTSD. Those directors and actors agreed more must be done to RAISE AWARENESS and find OUT-OF-THE-BOX solutions for this devastating disorder.  Pets for Vets was commended for a solution without relying on drugs."

She noted: "Although we haven't talked with any veterans who have read your book yet, those who know you wrote it are thankful and appreciative. They have all commented that most people have no understanding of PTSD and the wide variety of POTENTIAL TRIGGERS. They want awareness of the issue raised and think books like yours are an important step in that direction."

Attached was a clipping from an Indiana newspaper entitled: "Legion's leader meets with Obama.  She pointed out: "Since our National Commander of the American Legion meets with President Obama, he definitely needs a copy of your book."

The wheels began to turn.  My one chance-in-a-LIFETIME!  I couldn't let it slip through my fingers.

By June 20th, my RESEARCH was complete. My letter introducing Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and MISSION was polished.  With a prayer on my lips, I pressed SEND.

The next morning I received this reply: "I have spoken to the Commander. You may send your book to him at the following address .... He suggested  you also send one to Mrs. Obama ..." giving her address.  Then she went on with words of encouragement and offered other suggestions to further my MISSION!

Delight kindled my HAPPY DANCE that seemed to last for hours!

Next step, compose a letter to Mrs. Obama.  It was intimidating, but I refused let fear control the outcome. By Friday, June 28th, Diary of a Vet's Wife, Loving and Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was in the hands of our United States Postal Service Priority Mail and on its way to Washington DC.

Now I wait ... it's still hard to believe!


The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776.  This was the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the LIBERTY BELL ... 237 years ago.

Our COUNTRY may be young but our history shows dedication to the freedom of all mankind.  America will always be the land of the free because it is the home of the brave.  We're proud of our man and women of the United States Armed Forces, whose diligence and courage make freedom possible today and for the future.

This HOLIDAY is celebrated with family gatherings where children throw Frisbees and men fire up grills for juicy hamburgers and hotdogs.  Women arrange a spread of homemade favorites and the flies die of happiness.

Once the sun melts into darkness, the magic begins.  Fireworks of every shape, size and color sizzle and dance across the night sky in a breathtaking ballet of lights.  And NOISE!

Last night I read an article, PTSD TRIGGERS - FIREWORKS ALERT, that I'm compelled to SHARE.

A veteran's wife, Michele Smith, pleaded with people to refrain from setting off fireworks in neighborhoods where the explosive sounds can cause major difficulties for our veterans.  She explained, "Last year's FOUR days in a row of explosions in their neighborhood started her husband on a PTSD downhill spiral that landed him in an inpatient lockdown facility a few days later."

She shared what her husband was able to tell her on that first night of fireworks last year.  "I can tell myself all night long those explosions out there are not a danger to us and that I'm NOT in Iraq.  INTELLIGENTLY, I understand.  But that doesn't stop the awful FEELING inside me that IF I don't go out there and try to do something about it, people ARE going to die!" 

She felt it would help if the general public was better informed how severely this affects many veterans, so that they may choose different options for celebrating their 4th.

I agree with Michele and hope people will think twice before shooting fireworks within our neighborhoods, knowing they will be helping our heroes live a more peaceful life after war.  And thank you for caring.

Lesson learned . . . my two cents

Last night I watched my latest Netflix, Memorial Day - instead of finishing my blog.  It showed a different viewpoint and I was deeply moved and inspired.  All who care about our veterans will benefit from this heartfelt true story.

Stories live forever but only if you tell them.  ~ Memorial Day (2012)


  1. Dear Mrs. Obama. Is that how you started your letter? I can not even imagine what you must be feeling. My fingers are crossed and I am routing for you all the way. Where can one buy your book?
    Keep us posted on your new relationship with the Presidents wife.
    Lori Robinson

    1. Sweet, Lori,

      Yes, that's how I addressed my letter. I checked out the proper way on the internet by an official White House scribe? It may go nowhere, but then again, she knows the person who referred me. I'm open to whatever happens. :)

      You can buy the book at BookLocker, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. Basically anywhere you normally purchase books online since most book stores have closed. Even overseas. Must link a buy button to my blog soon to eliminate this question.

      How is everything in the woods? Will answer your last great email this weekend or sooner. xoxo

  2. I cannot even tell you how excited I am for you! What an amazing journey you have been on. And what a wonderful opportunity this was, not just for you and your book, but for all the Vets and Vets' wives quietly living with this shadow.
    You are an amazing person and I am blessed to have stumbled across you.
    Best of luck!

    1. Oh, Chris. I think of you often but have so little time for SheWrites right now. How are you and your amazing family?

      Your gracious words lift me up when my to-do-list overwhelms my 24-hr days. Abundantly blessed, I must post another blog before Ohio Reunion (8/8-8/20).

      This magical "niche" I discovered is opening doors all at once. I must stay focused and set priorities. Can you believe, I forgot to order business cards? I'm learning to stop and breath deeply to clear the clutter. Have an amazing summer! lol

  3. I have not been keeping track of my old friends at SheWrites as much as I'd like lately (planning to get back to reading all the wonderful writer blogs now) but it sounds like you've come a long long way with your book. I can feel your well-deserved excitement! I am glad it is getting out into the hands of readers. I will look for it on Amazon!

    1. Hi Carol,

      Delighted to see "your name" again. I do understand your quandary. Not enough time to do it all! Had to learn to focus on what moved my mission forward. Try to post once a month, but slip.:) This unexplored journey has peppered my path with bright, compassionate thinkers who have touched my heart and point me in the right direction. Each day is dreamlike because I never know what unexpected gift will present itself that day. I really should keep a journal - one more notebook! :)

      How's your life - and your writing - and your wonderful artwork that I admire? Have a happy summer and please stop again. :) lol

  4. This is so exciting, truly. I am doing the happy dance for you as well. I admire your perseverance. This is going to make all the difference. Sending prayer your way.

    1. So often my words seem trivial compared to the masterpieces you compose. That's why your words of encouragement mean so much. Brenda, you too are on a journey of patience and perserverance. One never knows what's around the next corner. That's why we can't stop! My prayers back to you with love. :)

  5. I finally finished the book. I'm such a slow reader & had started the book twice. I am in awe of your journey, your life lessons, your struggles, your strength, the ability to connect with your fear & the depth of your love. This by far is an excellent book that can touch the hearts of so many...not just someone who is a 'family' to the Military but anyone who has struggled with loving someone that was tormented by demons so much so that they're only way out they felt was to end their own life. The guilt the survivor feels & all the 'what if's' that follow. I'm especially glad that you were able to find connections for others like you in the end that you share for those to reach out to. Our VA need to change....if it's 'training' on their part, more volunteers & employed...something...but there will always be someone who struggles with the aftermath of what each War weaves inside the minds of each's a tangled web that destroys them & eats at them as Cancer eats at our very sorry I am for your loss & also relieved that you are finally able to find some sort of happiness in the good memories you have of him & the strength you have developed from him to tell your story & reach out to help another....Lots of love to you, your family & appreciation for Lorne for his sacrifice...even in the end.

    1. Sweet Dawn,

      Thank you for your gracious words and detailed review. Would love for you to share on Amazon.

      My struggle was hard and long, but my heart is whole again and I can smile. What hurts is to know how many, many others there are this very minute going through a similar ordeal seeing no way out.

      But there are ways out now. The problem is finding the strength to face the demon and be willing to share with others. This is not a private battle, it's a national battle.

      I can only pray that others will find direction before it's too late. There are groups listed in the back of the book waiting to help.

      And thank you for honoring Lorne by using his name. Only God knows what he saw or did that caused his PTSD.

      Much love and appreciation,
      Nancy lol