Your sister Laura
The following excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story, reminds me of the wonders and excitement of romance in Hawaii.
More often than not I raced down to Waikiki to be with her for a few hours during 12 hour breaks. I didn’t want to miss a moment to spend with Sheryl. She was absolutely the best thing that happened to me during my Navy experience in Hawaii. Even surfing took a back seat for awhile. Sleeping became less of a priority as well. Love clearly releases an abundance of energy in a young man. I was already a skinny dude and probably lost another 10 lbs during this high energy period. This experience simply took my breath away.”
The following excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story demonstrates how a traumatic condition might wipe out a person’s memory of certain events.
Following service in the Viet Nam War from September 1976 to September 1977, Coucal operated from her home port at Pearl Harbor, mainly supporting submarine training. Coucal was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor. In April 1990, ex-Coucal was sunk in the first PACFLT test of a Tomahawk anti-ship missile, fired from USS Chancellorsville (CG-62). reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Coucal_(ASR-8)
Following is an excerpt from my book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story. The stories of family history came together mostly from discussions with my father, Vernon H. Sparks. So far, few records have been located to develop the stories further and to verify facts.
“My dad talked fondly of his childhood, especially times on his grandparents farm in the Red River Valley in North Dakota. He loved this time as a child the best. His grandmother was Native American, and grandfather was from the old country. He rode horses, hunted, fished, and worked hard. His grandparents were highly respected and well off at the time. Their three sons, including my grandfather Art, all had their life challenges and success eluded them for the most part. Except for Uncle Harry, who took his inheritance and bought a farm in Ascov, Mn. Uncle Bob Sparks died of alcohol poisoning, alone and mostly homeless. Grandpa Art passed away in his mid 60’s of a heart condition and alcohol, basically a poor and unhappy man. My grandmother Mildred lived well into her 80’s and had mostly close relationships with her children and grandchildren. I didn’t see much of any of them after joining the Navy. I have recently reconnected with my cousins and surviving aunts from both sides of the family while doing research for this story and to retrace my roots. My daughter, Bianca, and her family recently moved to Eden Prairie, Mn giving me more motivation to find my way back and to share family roots with Bianca and grandkids, Joey and Jordan. Another effect of my own PTSD condition was to ignore where my family lived and roots, sharing hardly anything with my children until recently. Discussions about my own parents have been limited to negative references for the most part, leaving my kids with a feeling that they didn’t want anything to do with my family. I take full responsibility for this behavior, and intend to make it up by writing this story and sharing my family history with my own family for the rest of my time.”