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)