Monthly Archives: September 2013

First Annual Fall Music Round-Up & Charity Auction: A Fundraiser for Neighbors for Kids

First Annual Fall Music Event for Neighbors for Kids!  click to buy your ticket or make a donation!

Hanson Family Singers

Neighbors For Kids

541-765-8990 For Information       

First Annual Fall Music Round-Up & Charity Auction: A Fundraiser for Neighbors for Kids  click and listen to the music coming soon to Eden Hall in Gleneden Beach, Oregon…          

Come get your toes tapping and hands clapping to the refreshing and timeless music of the Western cowboy. The Hanson Family Singers presents a fun and lively performance of Western favorites and great instrumentation. If you can’t resist the fiddle and delight in hearing old-fashioned yodeling, don’t miss this opportunity to help Lincoln County youth and enjoy a great time!

Hanson_Family_Photo2

Saturday, October 12, 2013

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Eden Hall, 6675 Gleneden Beach Loop

Tickets: $10 per person in advance and $12 at the door.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Donate now to support our kids!

Neighbors For Kids
634 SE Hwy 101
P. O. Box 942,
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341
541-765-8990

Copyright

Neighbors For Kids, 634 SE Hwy 101, P. O. Box 942, Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Powered by and the Supported By Webfoot Marketing.

How soon we forget our heroes… Honor the POW’s who came home in 1973 after the end of the Vietnam War…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

The joy and relief of home coming for Vietnam POW’s in 1973!

Vietnam POW’s gather for 40 year reunion…  click for video clip…

The Richard Nixon Foundation…  Quote from this website…

John McCain with President Richard Nixon in 1973

“In honor of President Nixon’s Centennial and the 40th anniversary of the return home of the POWs from Vietnam, the Nixon Foundation has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to honor them at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.”
***********************************************************************************

I sincerely apologize for missing this major news event last May!  My radar is always up and out for these news events, and this one was missed, sadly.  I do lots of postings to honor my Vietnam era brothers and sisters and this should have been no exception.  I hope you all forgive me…

The video is very powerful and brought tears to my eyes when revisiting this time in American history.  Our Vietnam POW’s suffered terribly from many years of torture in captivity.  The Hanoi Hilton was no picnic at the beach…  What was really heartwarming in the video clip was to hear these brave men talk about how they didn’t feel alone… sticking together as one with honor and pride in America.  They created a “survive and thrive” culture under the worst possible conditions.  All these heroes had faith in God, themselves and America.  They knew the day would come to go home.  It is hope that keeps us together.  It is faith, honor and love for country that provides the strength to hang on one day at a time. 

It is an honor to see the video and the heroes who could attend the 40 year reunion back in May 2013.  Please share this treasure of history with your friends and family…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

WWII Military Spouse & Mom turns 95! Marcella C. Sparks, a 20th Century trail blazer survives and thrives…still does a belly laugh!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 






Photo by Brenda Humphreys, Regent Care Center

Marcella at 95 loves to belly laugh!


Photo by Brenda Humphreys, Regent Care Center
Marcella, observing something hilarious…?
 

 

Who said laughter is good for the soul?

Photo by Judy Sparks
Mothers Day 2013… Marcella & son Steve Sparks

Photo by Brenda Humphreys, Regent Care Center
Marcella, just before belly laugh above left…

 
USS West Virginia (BB48) December 7, 1941
 
 
Vernon & Marcella Sparks c1940-41
 
 
 

They served too! “The forgotten WWII spouses and mothers…”

Mother celebrates her 95th birthday on this Saturday, September 28, 2013, at the Regent Care Center, Reno, Nevada!  Marcella was just 23 and a single mom at home with first son Jerry when the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the US Navy Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  We really don’t know how long she waited to find out whether or not Dad survived the attack while serving aboard the USS West Virginia (BB48) on that horrific day.  Many weeks later following the beginning of WWII, Dad showed up without advance notice for a short visit before returning to the Asiatic Pacific War.  Both experienced profound joy and relief even though for a very brief period of time.  This was just a warm up to a very long combat deployment during all of WWII for my father pictured above with mother.  There would be more waiting, waiting, worry, and more waiting until Dad finally returned home in June 1945 just before WWII ended.

As a tribute to my mother on her 95th birthday, following is an excerpt from my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, revisiting some of the happiest times in her life back around 1940 when mom & dad were first married in Long Beach, California…
**********************************************************************************************

“Laura planned a few outings for just mother and daughter to bond. One special day happened to be Mother’s birthday.  She took Mother to Shore Line Village in Long Beach for a special lunch.   The Lighthouse was a favorite.   They serve some of the best seafood and it is right on the water.

 Mother is very sentimental about Long Beach.  She and Dad were married in Long Beach where they spent Dad’s 6 weeks of shore leave until he shipped out to Pearl Harbor on the USS West Virginia. The following is Laura’s recollection of what Mother shared with her that day while reminiscing the early days of marriage in Long Beach.

 
“It was 1939 or 1940, in St. Paul Minn.  Mother was about 19 or 20 years old, attending a girl’s finishing school in St. Paul when she met Juneth Sparks who was also attending the same school. They soon became good friends, even though Juneth was 2 years younger. They found a lot of common interests and ran in the same social circles.
 
Europe was at war and Japan was becoming very hostile in the Pacific.  Surely the US would be joining soon. It was the beginning of another World War. Young able bodied men were enlisting in the United States military, and were almost immediately shipped out to various parts of Europe and the Pacific. It was expected and thought to be most honorable to serve our country. Eligible young men of dating age were becoming scarce in St. Paul.  Short courtships and quick marriages were the norm. Men and women were anxious to tie the knot and even start a family before shipping out to far off destinations that were kept secret.  If the men were lucky to come home alive, they knew it could be many months and even years before they would see our shores again. They wished to have a loved one waiting and writing to them.
 
Since Mother was ending an unsuccessful relationship with a young man, her friend Juneth suggested that she meet her older brother, Vernon. Vernon would be coming home for a short leave from sea duty in the Navy at that time.  Dad had been in the Navy since 1936 and out at sea most of the time.  Juneth encouraged her friend Marcella, and was sure she would be impressed with this tall, handsome and charming sailor.
 
Juneth set up a meeting between her friend Marcella Schaub and her brother Vernon Sparks, which was the beginning of a new Sparks’s generation before and after WWII.  Following a whirlwind of dating and romance Marcella fell in love with Vernon, a tall, blond, handsome, romantic and adventurous sailor. On that short three week leave, she spent as much time as possible with her new man, Vernon.  During that time she met the rest of Sparks’ family as well as introducing Vernon to the Schaub clan.   Mother’s parents, especially her Dad, approved of this handsome, strong and capable sailor. Mother was most happy to receive her “Pa’s” approval.
 
The day for Vernon to ship out came too soon, much too soon to a destination he could not reveal.   Marcella saw him off on a train headed towards the west coast of California, a distant seaport called Long Beach.  Both of them promised to write each other as much as possible.

Mother and Vernon wrote letters to each other for 5 months. Vernon’s letters were full of news about the possible war in the Pacific, uncertain where he was going, and how much he missed Mother and hoped that they would soon see each other. His letters were full of humor in sharing his numerous adventures aboard ship and his feelings of love began to emerge more with each letter.  Soon, Mother and Vernon began to speak about a possible life together, promises turning to commitments to each other as it became apparent they longed to be together.

 
One day Mother received the letter she had been hoping for from Vernon. The letter contained a yellow gold diamond engagement ring and a one way train ticket from St. Paul to Los Angeles, California. Vernon explained he needed an answer as soon as possible because he would be shipping out soon. The US Navy Fleet was destined for Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii.  Vernon expressed his love to Marcella and his hope of starting a family with her before he shipped out.  For most military men, losing their life was ever present causing a natural tendency to start a family before heading off to combat.  He promised housing for Mother in Bell, California, with some friends of his after he shipped out.  This was clearly a romantic and adventurous notion for Marcella to contemplate during this time, but also scary in terms of leaving her comfort zone in St. Paul, Minnesota and being married to a man who may not come home.
 
The prospect of moving away was romantic and exciting to Marcella and fearful as well.   She had never seen the Atlantic Coast let alone the far away Pacific Coast. Mother had never in her life been outside of Minnesota.  Long Beach was very close to Hollywood and she dreamed of seeing some of her favorite exotic movie stars. Her favorite pass time for Saturdays was viewing the latest movie releases at the local theatre.  Mother was somewhat anxious about being married by a Judge in California.  Marcella came from a very strict Catholic family, and so she hoped the marriage would be blessed by the Catholic Church sometime in the future. Vernon, being Lutheran, agreed that he would practice the Catholic beliefs with her and the children they hoped to have.
 
With the blessings of her family and much anticipation Marcella boarded the train.  Vernon promised to be at the Los Angeles train station in a few days to meet her when she arrived.

Mother’s trip across the country was full of sites, landscapes and interesting things she had only read about in books newspapers and magazines or heard about on the radio.  After some research I was able to conclude that Mother must have traveled on the Union Pacific from Minnesota.  The passenger train traveled along the Mississippi River and then headed west across the country close to the old highway “Route 66” to the Pacific Coast, arriving in downtown Los Angeles.

When the train arrived at last to the Pacific Coast the beauty was breathtaking, just as Vernon had promised. The exotic palm trees, blue clear sky and the warm weather were wonderful. Just as Vernon promised, he was waiting at the train station with open arms. He brought along some friends with a vehicle from Bell. They were married on March 18, 1940 in Bell, California, by the justice of peace, with a promise from Vernon that they would someday be married by a Catholic priest.

 

They spent a blissful honeymoon in Long Beach, which was most fun and exciting to Mother. The beaches were beautiful where they spent a lot of time sunbathing while getting to know each other in the pleasant and romantic salty sea breeze.  Long Beach was a fun city during those years.  The city was like a huge carnival.  Long Beach was a major port for the US Navy. There was an abundance of entertainment catering to sailors on shore leave. Vernon romanced mother with her first shrimp cocktail, and exotic tropical fruit drinks with tiny umbrellas. Marcella was amazed at all the fresh produce sold at outdoor farmers markets. She enjoyed avocados for the first time, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and many other treats. She would have never known there were so many different kinds of lettuce.  Fresh salads became a lifetime habit for Mother.

Long Beach had many street markets where Japanese Americans would bring produce and other goods to sell from their farms that prospered on Terminal Island.  Mother told me with much sadness and regret, she had a close friendship with a young Japanese American woman, one of those vendors. The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Mother went in search of her friend for comfort. Everything was gone. Mother’s friend and the other Japanese American vender’s had just disappeared as if they were never there.  This was a very sad time for Japanese Americans who became victims of WWII.  Most were sent off to camps for the duration of the war.

Finally it was time for Vernon to ship out on a short training cruise to make sure the USS West Virginia was ready for the rigors of sea duty and possible combat. Marcella stayed with Vernon’s friends in Bell temporarily.  When Vernon took his last leave, he moved mother into an apartment on Lime Street in Long Beach.  She became lifelong friends with an older couple living in the same apartments.  The older couple was childless at the time, and treated Mother as a daughter.  Many of Vernon’s shipmate’s wives were settled in the same area of Long Beach, which provided her with a good support group and new friends.

On September 11, 1941, at the old Saint Mary’s by the Sea Hospital, Marcella gave birth to Gerald Vernon Sparks the first son of Vernon.  On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the US Naval Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor by complete surprise.  War was declared on Japan by the President of the United States within days of this terrible historical event that changed America forever.”
 
With honor, respect, and lots of love… Happy 95th birthday to my mother, Marcella.  In honor and remembrance to all the military moms and spouses from WWII who served America too!
 
Steve Sparks
Author

 


 

“With a little help from my friends.” My work to create awareness for PTSD & moral injury is so much easier with collaborations and social networking…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

Collaboration success with Ginger Kadlec, 4urkids…  Quote from Ginger’s website…

You know how every now and again you experience milestones in your personal life, career or friendships? Well, this has indeed been a milestone week for me and the 4UrKids™ effort. Thanks to YOU, after only five months online, this week we surpassed the 20,000 follower mark on Twitter and now have over 1,000 friends on Facebook! I’m beyond excited that so many of you have engaged in the fight to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of child abuse, as well as share ways to prevent abuse and keep kids safe. From the bottom (and top) of my heart, I thank you… this awareness is only possible with a little help from my friends.

Thank You, Friends!

There are a few social media outlets to whom I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. These groups have shown and continue to demonstrate their support of protecting children from abuse by sharing my blogs, posts and tweets. I am grateful for your collaboration, outreach and commitment – thank you so very much for playing a lead role in the growth and expansion of 4UrKids!
*************************************************************************************
I started collaborating with Ginger Kadlec on June 27, 2013 with a post entitled… “Parental PTSD symptoms can often translate to “child abuse” and collateral damage to our most precious resource…children…”  In my own writing on this blog to advance PTSD & moral injury awareness, I stayed away from the term “child abuse” for the most part because it made me nervous to think about it so directly.  I have learned much more about this subject since then in the context of “emotional neglect” in children.  Confronting the subject head on has been healing for me.  Connecting to the broader community of child abuse awareness through Ginger and her website 4urKids has helped me learn from others outside of the military family community.  My own life experience as recounted in Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, really adds up to what can be described as parental “unintentional” emotional neglect or child abuse.  My parents were so preoccupied with Dad’s troublesome emotional condition following WWII and Korean War that we siblings in our family were left alone on the sidelines, making adjustments by trial and error to protect ourselves from a highly toxic home life.  My mother was affected severely after many years as a caregiver for our father as well.  So they both were exhausted with emotional pain as typically described with all the symptoms of PTSD.  We were all completely ignorant of what was then a severely dysfunctional family culture.  There were no military or civilian mental health resources or references to help us become more aware of our own circumstances as a family challenged with life after war.  It was swept under the rug, and we never talked about it..  We never told the truth nor did we even know how to talk about how we felt or how lonely life was at home.  We did not even acknowledge that living in our home was scary.  We learned to live with the circumstances and survived one day at a time until old enough to escape the “fox hole” of a highly toxic home.  In my view we parents still have a hard time talking about the sensitive topic of child abuse when it comes to our own kids…  The stigma and denial is ever present, and for me as well until finding a way to reconcile life as a young boy during the “too terrible to remember ’50’s.” 

I want to thank Ginger Kadlec for helping me with my own journey of healing and raising awareness on the broader more global problem of child abuse and emotional neglect.  The conversation is not solely about the symptoms of PTSD in parents who return home from war and struggle with readjustment.  For me, it is about our children who are often severely affected from the consequences of emotional neglect.  Ginger did a follow-up post on her own website entitled, The War Within: PTSD by Ginger Kadlec.

I am compelled to talk and write about the subject of PTSD in the context of children in very honest and frank ways, including sharing my childhood experience.  It is a painful and sensitive topic that affects millions of citizens all over America and around the globe.  War is horrific!  Traumatic life changing events in general come home to haunt us often for generations until the cycle of pain is broken.  Building PTSD and child abuse awareness in our local communities is critical in helping all of us heal in life after trauma.  Please join thefight to raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of child abuse” by reaching out to others and making a difference “one child at a time.”

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

“Wildfire survivor now helps others endure tragedy…” 1st responders often fight the same life after trauma challenges as warriors…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

Kim Lightley, former Hotshot Firefighter…



Firefighter Memorial
Celebration of Honor “Traveling Tribute Wall…”

Kim Lightley helps 1st responders heal…  Click on this site to view video clip…

by Pat Dooris, KGW reporter

kgw.com

 

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 19 at 7:04 PM

PORTLAND — The mournful sound of bagpipes rang out in Salem Thursday at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The yearly gathering honors the men and women who have died in the line of duty.
Kim Lightley has heard the bagpipes far too often.
“We’re all feeling the same pain,” she said before the ceremony.
Her pain is never far away. Ninteen years ago, Lightley attacked fire on mountains with the Prineville Hotshots. In July of 1994, a routine looking fire blew up on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. Lightley ran for her life and barely escaped. Fourteen others, including 9 of her friends, died.
***********************************************************************************

We remembered and honored 1st responders this past weekend during the Celebration of Honor weekend at Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City, Oregon.  I spent most of the weekend to honor fellow veterans and 1st responders who lost their lives in the line of duty in war and on the home front.  It was also a weekend to honor all those who serve and have served America to protect our freedoms and to keep us safe at home…

Kim Lightley lives with the symptoms of PTSD many years following the loss of 9 of her friends in the 1994 fire on Storm King Mountain in Colorado.  Kim’s own journey of healing takes her to firefighter memorials around America to help other 1st responders to begin the hard road of healing.  The biggest challenge of healing from traumatic life events is the path of denial and treatment avoidance.  The “suck it up” mindset and the fear or stigma connected with mental health is very difficult to overcome.  I see and hear the stigma in my own work everyday connecting with post trauma survivors who work hard to move on with their lives.  We survivors who are willing to step up and start the conversation of awareness and healing, are also challenged with the stigma because it is tough for victims and families to talk about a subject so sensitive and painful.  It took me most of my life to confront denial head on before starting my own journey of healing at age 64.  Kim Lightley along with many survivors who thrive in the face of painful memories do so by helping others and making a difference for the greater good.  Writing and speaking about life after war and trauma is healing.  Human connectedness is a critical component in separating yourself from painful traumatic events of the past and regaining the moral balance and peace of mind we all deserve. 

My favorite quote says it all…by Maya Angelou…

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”

Best wishes to my fellow survivors to “thrive” in your life after trauma as a warrior or on the home front as 1st responders keeping America safe and protecting our freedoms.

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…
 

Talking to kids about recent terrorism events and truama is critical in minimizing PTSD reactions!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

Talking to kids about trauma and terrorism…  Quoting from this website resource…

The combination of life-threatening traumatic personal experiences, loss of loved ones, disruption of routines and expectations of daily life, and post-violence adversities pose psychological challenges to the recovery of children and families in the affected areas. The following issues may be helpful to consider: 


Reactions to Danger

Danger refers to the sense that events or activities have the potential to cause harm. In the wake of the recent catastrophe violence, people and communities have greater appreciation for the enormous danger of violence and terrorism and the need for effective emergency management plans. There will be widespread fears of recurrence that are increased by misinformation and rumors. Danger always increases the need and desire to be close to others, making separation from family members and friends more difficult.
Post Traumatic Stress Reactions

Post traumatic stress reactions are common, understandable, and expectable, but are nevertheless serious. The three categories are: 1) Intrusive Reactions, meaning ways the traumatic experience comes back to mind. These include recurrent upsetting thoughts or images, strong emotional reactions to reminders of the attacks, and feelings that something terrible is going to happen again; 2) Avoidance and Withdrawal Reactions, including avoiding people, places and things that are reminders of the attacks, withdrawal reactions, including feeling emotionally numb, detached or estranged from others, and losing interest in usual pleasurable activities; and 3) Physical Arousal Reactions, including sleep difficulties, poor concentration, irritability, jumpiness, nervousness, and being “on the lookout for danger.”
***********************************************************************************

Children are clearly affected when observing or experiencing traumatic events.  They may be silent and go back to normal play and convenient distractions that are comfortable, but the pictures and voices stick.  Kids become confused with all the trauma shown and discussed at home and away from home especially in areas where there are news reports on TV.  If you observe some of the reactions described above in your children, it is a good bet they are experiencing fear from memories and flashbacks of seeing and hearing scary events.  When I was growing up we hardly talked about scary events in the context of making we siblings feel safe.  Scary events or experiences were often ignored or even escalated in parental anxiety, making kids even more fearful.  My parents didn’t do this intentionally…  Parents are scared too!  But as parents we need to think about how we frame these experiences with our children to protect them from living with fear long after the traumatic event occurs.  Take a look at the website provided in the link about and educate yourself as a parent.  Use the tools to help your kids resolve fears sooner rather than later.  If we wait or  just avoid talking about the fears that can occupy the minds of children, the memories of these incidents can become nightmares and flashbacks and create more stress in the future for youngsters and the family as a whole…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

 

“Ty Carter’s Advocacy in Context ~ PTSD: A Soldier’s Perspective”…advances the cause of PTSD and moral injury awareness! Stop the “stigma!”

Ty Carter’s Advocacy in Context ~ PTSD: A Soldier’s Perspective

                                                         Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter

“The Obama administration and the media have appropriately brought attention to this unquestionable hero’s frank public battle with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and his advocacy for fellow veterans. Carter is known for his opposition of the classification of the condition as a disorder, rather than a normative stress response to extreme danger.[2] Carter’s position mirrors the conclusions of physiological centered doctors from Jonathan Shay to Hans Selye, sometimes referred to as “the father of stress,” and speaks to the value of intuitive understanding as well as the scientific method.[3]s public advocacy is important by its own right, it is more appropriately interpreted within a longer tradition of American military heroes using their Medal of Honor to advocate for other veterans or to condemn the horrors of warfare.”  ”

Khronikos: the University of Maine graduate history student blog (blog), September 11, 2013, http://khronikos.com/2013/09/11/medal-of-honor-recipient-ty-carters-advocacy-in-historical-context/.
*************************************************************************************

It is such an honor for me to have the opportunity to speak during the Celebration of Honor event at Lincoln City Cultural Center this coming Saturday.  My talk is focused on PTSD and moral injury awareness.  My discussion includes the military dramatic shift in changing its “Suck it up Soldier” tough love approach on the battlefield and in life after war.  Ty Carter’s advocacy and post war US Army assignment to promote PTSD awareness will be at the center of my talk to the families of veterans and 1st responders.  Decades of post war emotional baggage has been bottled up as the “agony of an untold story” for far too long.  I am so encouraged that America is taking significant steps in helping post war trauma victims heal and prepare for a healthy, happy, and productive life after war…  My Dad and thousands of post WWII warriors did not have a way to heal and thrive in healthy ways when they returned home from war.  As a result of Ty Carter’s advocacy; my own mission to advance the cause of PTSD awareness, as a post WWII military child and Vietnam era US Navy veteran, is so much easier.  We must stop the “stigma” connected with mental health issues!

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

Lincoln City TheNewsGuard…”Local author, Vietnam-era vet to speak at LCCC…”

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 
****************************************

Judy Sparks
Making Introduction to Talk, “Surviving & Thriving”
Steve Sparks, age 10, 1956…


“Surviving & Thriving” by Steve Sparks  Quote from this website…

“Steve Sparks, local author and Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Navy, will give a free talk on “Surviving and Thriving for Families Challenged with PTSD,” as part of the Celebration of Honor weekend.  Sparks casual, informative discussion will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Conference Room at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, at 540 N.E. Highway 101.”
**********************************************************************************
I so appreciate the opportunity to participate as a speaker at the upcoming Celebration of Honor in Lincoln City.  I am very happy to have my wife and soul-mate, Judy Sparks, with me at this event.  I am also grateful to my friends and neighbors who provided me with excellent ideas in the preparation of this most important and sensitive discussion of moral injury and PTSD.  I will be sharing two years of research from writing my book and blog, Families Living with PTSD & Moral Injury.  My book serves as the backdrop of my own family experience living and coping with PTSD during a time when we had no knowledge of the mental health implications and impact of life after trauma affecting warriors, 1st responders, loved ones, and others who suffer from traumatic life changing events.  I refer to this period of my life as, “the too terrible to remember ’50’s.”

I am looking forward to seeing both friends and family, and making new friends this coming Saturday Sept 21st 4pm, Lincoln City Cultural Center…  Hope you can join us for this event…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…

Celebration of Honor Event at Lincoln City Cultural Center Sept 21st 4pm…Steve Sparks, author and community leader…shares experience and research on moral injury and PTSD…

Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

Steve Sparks talks about veterans, 1st responders…children and families of our heroes…  Quoted from Newport News-Times article from the entertainment section…  Subscribe to e-Edition…

“Steve Sparks, local author and Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Navy, will give a free talk on “Surviving and Thriving for Families Challenged with PTSD,” as part of the Celebration of Honor weekend. His casual, informative discussion will start at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the conference room at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101.”

***********************************************************************************
Copy full article… 

 
 
 

“Men and Depression…” How do men deal with depression and anxiety as compared to women…a revealing study helps us understand…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version. Thank you! 

****************************************************************************************

“The surprising truth about men and depression.”  Quote from this website…

“Past research has identified distinct characteristics of male depression (aggression, anger, and other destructive behaviors, for example). So when Martin and her team analyzed depression symptoms common among men, they found that 26 percent of men and 22 percent of women met the criteria for depression. “This wasn’t surprising because depressed women don’t typically walk around throwing things or exhibiting other types of aggressive behavior,” said Martin. However, when she used a scale that included both traditional symptoms and those male-specific symptoms, the rates for depression were similar among men and women: 31 percent and 33 percent, respectively.”

***************************************************************************************

My dated boomer career and personal experience has shown me that in the right professional environment behind board room doors or offices, men often vent their frustrations in those very macho ways, including loud voices and angry outbursts.  But they rarely admit that this behavior has anything to do with depression or severe anxiety.  Professional women on the other hand help us stay grounded because they don’t usually yell, pound on the table, throw things around, slam doors, and curse at everybody…  Of course, this never happens in this day…  I’ve been retired for quite awhile, so men may have been retrained and guided to a much friendlier and kinder style.  I wonder how many ladies in the 21st Century professional world reading this would agree with me? 

The real point with this discussion is men more often than not are in denial about depression.  I believe this is changing.  I hope we men don’t have to wait until we are retired like me to suddenly emerge from denial and admit the need for help, and start apologizing for all the years of bad behaviors.  A diagnosis of depression and anxiety, including treatment, is the start of a long and healthy healing process.  It is far better to start earlier in life to address depression not only for yourself, but all the other family, friends, and colleagues in your circle of life…

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to order…