Growing up in the 1960’s in Jersey City, New Jersey, I had no clear understanding of what it was like to serve in the United States military. I graduated high school in 1969, a year scarred by Vietnam War protests and youth’s rage against the “Military Industrial Complex.” I knew so little then about any of the issues involved, and often went with the flow of popular opinion because I just didn’t know any better and my husband at the time, Warren, was influencing my political point of view.
Later in life, as I matured in age and attitude, my heart broke to see how poorly our military men and women were treated when they came home from what so many called an “unjust war.” My heart still breaks today to learn that even now, the wounded and families of those returning from war do not get the treatment they need or are kept waiting for months and sometimes years to receive urgently needed services from the U.S. Veterans Administration.
My dad served in Japan during or after the Guadalcanal Campaign in the 1940’s and that’s all I know and I’m ashamed to say how little I know. My dad didn’t talk about his military service, and although I don’t believe he was involved in actual fighting, I wish he told me about his experiences overseas. All I have now are a few pictures and a one page summary of his military service record. Mom didn’t talk much about dad’s experience either and to be fair to them, I didn’t ask.
So, I urge those who have served or are serving in the armed services today to tell your sons and daughters, your nieces and nephews and your grandchildren, as much as you can, and as much as they will absorb. It’s important because there are valuable lessons that our service men and women have learned that those of us who don’t serve will never have the opportunity to know. The next generation shouldn’t have to wonder or guess at their relatives’ military experience. They shouldn’t have to wonder why they served or how they felt when they returned home. They shouldn’t have to repeat the mistakes of those who have no clue and who may have false impressions or naive beliefs about the importance of a strong military.
That’s why I am offering a FREE Lifetime Book to a Veteran who will spend the time with me to tell his or her story in as little or as much detail as they want. I will offer this service and one printed book free to any Vet, active or retired, for as long as I am able to write. The first U.S. armed services Veteran to request a book will be selected as my first project. I can only write and publish one book at a time, so right now, I am looking for one person to work with me on my first Lifetime Book for someone who served proudly in our military. If you are a Veteran of any war, please contact me by email or phone if you are interested in a free Lifetime Book. I am searching for my first “pro bono” project and I am anxious to begin.
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