Military wife becomes champion for Veterans with PTSD.

The women of WWII were quiet heroines, raising children as single parents, and not knowing for weeks and sometimes months at a time, whether their husbands were alive or if and when they would come home.  I write in my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, that when my father finally came home for good at the end of WWII in the summer of 1945, he was a different man.  Mother had little or no information on the long term emotional effects on her husband.  It was assumed at the time that once the war was over life would be good and all the earlier dreams of happiness as a family would come true.  It didn’t take long to discover that Dad was a different man, broken and wounded emotionally from extended combat duty.  The dreams of getting on with life would have to wait, for my mother was in for the biggest challenge of her life.  How would she cope with this man who’s behavior was that of a different person than when he sailed off to Pearl Harbor on the USS West Virginia in the summer of 1941?  My brother Jerry was born in September 1941, three months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Jerry would get to know his Dad for the first time as a 4 year old boy.

I am heartened by the article in the following link http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/321735The women of 21st Century wars are heroines too, but they are more educated, aware, independent, and have a voice with help from social media technology.  They demand answers and they have a strong desire to help their husbands, sons, and daughters when they return home from extended deployments.  Following is a quote from the link, including an article from Digital Journal by Samantha A. Torrence dated March 24, 2012.
“Shawn Gourley who has gone through hell and back to save her husband and family has broken her silence and put her story out there for everyone to see. Her courageous effort to bring light to PTSD in her book The War at Home has been a beacon for veterans and their caretakers. Many who have read the book have said “Finally, someone who knows. Someone who is going through what I am going through!” These spouses and veterans began to gather at a Facebook page Shawn set up to help promote her free minibook. The page is called simply Military with PTSD and has now become a support group that is responsible for saving lives and marriages since it was established in August 2010.”

It is an honor and privilege for me to share this story with my blog readers and social media followers.  We should all be grateful for the determination and brave work of Shawn Gourley.
Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story