Monthly Archives: April 2014

May 26: Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family Exhibit opens Memorial Day in Albuquerque…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

scanned_items_004_3

The military family serves too!

Museum of the American Military Family…”We Served Too…”  Quote from this website… “Through this exhibit, the community can see history through a different filter, relive their own military roots, open dialogue between generations, and leave with a deeper appreciation of what it means to serve as a military family. This is an opportunity for visitors to experience a unique part of history, their history, in many cases — their complete story–the joy and pain, the sorrow, and the sacrifice…”

MAMFtemplogoNuclearMuseum

National Museum of Nuclear Science & History…  Quoting from this website…

“Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family” is a special exhibit that will open Memorial Day, May 26, and run through August 31 at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.

This inspiring exhibition celebrates America’s rich military history through the voices of America’s military families. Through written word and interactive elements, visitors will experience the joy, the sorrow and the sacrifice of America’s steadfast and unsung heroes, the military family.

There is no additional admission cost to view the exhibit beyond regular Museum admission; $8 for adults and $7 for youth and seniors.

*****


 

I am honored as a former US Navy military child and Vietnam era veteran, to participate in the Museum of the American Military Family Memorial Day exhibit “Sacrifice and Service.”  My story as a child of a US Navy WWII and Korean War combat veteran is painful.  America’s combat veterans from all wars up to and including Vietnam were from the “go home and forget about it” and “suck it up” culture.  Not because we wanted to ignore the moral injury and invisible wounds of war sustained by American soldiers and sailors who protected the freedoms of Americans, it was because we were ignorant of the lasting emotional damage in life after war.  Medical science did not define or measure the mental health effects of war until around 1980 following the Vietnam War.  Until recently we did not recognize how war affected the entire military family, especially children, often for a lifetime. 

“We served too” has a special meaning to me.   I am proud of my father’s honorable and heroic service during WWII and the Korean War.  I am proud to have been a military child from a US Navy family where my mother served too as a single mom during all WWII and as the life long caregiver for my father.  I am proud to have served in the US Navy during the Vietnam era.  And, I am especially proud to be an American.   I am also now well aware of how war affects the bodies, minds and souls of warriors like my father, including the families, who served America with honor, duty and pride.  I am especially aware of how the American military family served as caregivers to the men and women who returned home following long and multiple deployments in hard combat.  It is with this knowledge and awareness that my own journey of healing includes helping others become educated on the lingering effects and on-going treatment of moral injury and Post-Traumatic Stress on the military family.

I am looking forward to a full schedule of book readings, discussions, and interaction with visitors attending the Museum of the American Military Family “Sacrifice and Service” exhibit on May 31st and June 1st at the Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque.   It is a high honor and privilege to share my personal experience and body of work to help others know more of their own family’s proud but sometimes painful military history and service to America…

As a gift to the Museum of the American Military Family and the upcoming “Sacrifice and Service” exhibit, following is a short poem reflecting heartfelt thoughts about my post WWII and Korean War experience as a US Navy military child.  “We served too!”

Steve10

Steve Sparks, 1956, age 10…click to expand photo…

Mother always told Dad we were bad while he was away at sea.

We were safe and free when Dad sailed away.

Fear and beatings made us cry you see…

Mother seemed happier when Dad was away at sea.

With love, joy, and play,

Dreams of family all together forever.

The fear and beatings came again anyway…

By Steve Sparks 

*****

 

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story 

51woB-TkSXL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Agony1

A post WWII family's struggle with moral injury and PTSD

Photos on cover of Vernon and Marcella Sparks c1940 and the USS West Virginia in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor…

 

 

 

“Mental Health First Aid Really Works!” You can become an instructor…and get certified…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

night_town

“I Was Able to Save a Life” December 4, 2013

coffey

Capt. Joseph Coffey
Rhode Island

Mental Health First Aid skills can be applied anytime, anywhere, and to anyone in distress, be it a brother officer exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, an unemployed friend displaying signs of severe depression, or a teenage family member presenting evidence of

Mental Health First Aid…Quote from this link…

“Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.”

*****

The mental health awareness campaign in America is really taking hold!  A “first aid” program is now available to communities everywhere.  I know this program is critically important in my rural community on the Oregon Central Coast.  All schools, non-profits, government agencies, public private partnerships, and citizens everywhere should learn about mental health first aid.  The invisible nature of mental health challenges, including moral injury and PTSD, make it even more challenging to perform first aid because we are often unable to see or understand the symptoms.  Building more understanding of the signs of mental illness will help save lives!   Early and on-going treatment is very critical in finding a path to healing. Please take the time to learn about the mental health first aid program in your community, and get the word out by sharing this blog post on your social media network.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation, A Son’s Story…

Why is it critical to pay attention to healing children who are emotionally neglected? The emotional baggage of kids will carry forward well into adult years!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

HiddenScars

The hidden scars of emotional abuse are visible in numerous behavioral ways.

Healing for Emotionally Abused Kids…quote from this website article by Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell, Demand Media and Global Post

“Emotional abuse of a child, otherwise referred to as psychological maltreatment, can range from blatant acts such as verbal abuse, terrorizing or victimizing to more subtle but equally damaging deeds like rejecting, ignoring or neglecting a child. Some parents emotionally abuse their kids because they were victims of emotional cruelty as children, the American Humane Association explains. The sooner an emotionally abused child gets the help he needs to heal, the better his chances of recovery and negating the cycle of abuse will be.”

Helping kids affected by emotional neglect…  Quote from this website article by Growing up Easier Publishing…

Being Called Stupid, An Idiot, Bad, Ugly; Frequently Belittled And Unacknowledged:

Without help, a child or youth’s self-confidence disappears. Later success in learning, living, relationships, and being an effective parent is extremely difficult. These actions are often related to parents and teachers who need education, support and therapy so they can be more patient and attentive to the child or youth. Some adults discharge their stress onto children & youth by acting abusively.

*****

My parents consistently “discharged their stress” on us siblings and they didn’t know the consequences.  It was the sign of the times during the 1950’s and early 1960’s during my childhood and young adult life.  Families tried to “suck it up” following the trauma of WWII and Korean War when out in the public.  When in the privacy and secrecy of home, parents often released the bottled up stress on the kids and each other.  Years of this kind of emotional and physical abuse will affect children well into adult life.  Unless treated as quickly as possible the emotional baggage is carried forward creating the next generation of highly stressful behaviors resulting in the outward symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress, including anger and severe anxiety.  These next generation grown-ups become troubled parents who discharge their stress in the same way as their own parents.

My life as a child and young adult was very much focused on surviving one day at a time.  As siblings we demonstrated anger toward each other most of the time as a way to release the built up stress as kids.  We felt ignored and neglected.  It seemed as though we lived in a loveless home.  We didn’t dare talk about our fears at school and had a difficult time with being self-confident around our peers, teachers, and coaches.  Each day we wiped away the tears and put on our game faces when we walked out the front door of our home.

The level of awareness regarding the consequences of emotional neglect and child abuse is exponentially better in the 21st Century.  It is almost impossible for parents to not know how “discharging stress” in abusive ways at home harms children.  It is also safer for kids to talk about their fears outside of the home.  The caring and educated community culture of today looks at protecting children, but also considers the importance of helping parents help themselves before it is too late.  Communities everywhere try to help each other to prevent families from imploding under the pressure of dysfunctional circumstances.  We know now without a doubt that healing children and families sooner than later is far less costly than denial and ignorance.

Please take advantage of opportunities to increase your awareness as parents and children by spending quality time reading and referencing resources i.e., “Growing up Easier Publishing” and engaging with other parents in your local community.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

Celebrating 30 Years of Adventure and Romance…Steve & Judy Sparks renew vows at Cannon Beach, Oregon

Inn at Cannon Beach…

cannon-beach-hotel-inn-at-cannonbeach

Friends of Haystack Rock…

fohr_color_logo_350

Friends of Haystack Rock fosters stewardship and promotes harmonious living with the natural world by opening minds to the wonders of Haystack Rock through education, exploration and discovery.

20140422_111521

Photo by Lisa, Haystack Rock Awareness Guide…April 22, 2014

 

20140422_132314_resized

Our expression of love and friendship on this occasion… “Dreams, Hope, Love.”

*****

Judy and I renewed our vows the first time when we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary while living in Leavenworth, Wa.  Judy was totally surprised because it happened during church services on a Sunday.  I secretly talked to our priest and arranged it without anyone knowing it.  During the homily, Father Maury, started talking about marriage and asked us to come up to renew our vows.  No question about it, Judy, and everyone else in church was taken by surprise!  It was a wonderful and memorable experience looking into Judy’s eyes, both of us with tears of love.  I even had a hard time repeating the vows of marriage on queue!

This time we casually talked about the timing of renewing our vows after 30 years of marriage.  But Judy left it up to me to make it happen.  As soon as we arrived I called Rev. Christina Irvine, Coastal Weddings, to set it up for this day at 5pm.  And it is a secret as of now until this post is published later today after the ceremony.

We both feel very lucky and blessed to have each other.  Our life together has seen ups and downs like everybody else.  Our long friendship and unconditional love has been like Haystack Rock here in Cannon Beach, Oregon…  So, it is fitting that we picked this beautiful place on the coast of Oregon not too far from home to renew our life together in marriage.   We continue to see our future together with “dreams, hope, and love” as in the glass heart in the above photo.  We treasure the memories of an abundance of adventure and romance over the years.  And for today it is “U & Me” just like the license plate reads in the same photo above.  Judy and I have each other always and forever.

Steve & Judy Sparks, married April 21, 1984…

Kissing the bride!

Kissing the bride!

Steve & Judy after the ceremony...Inn at Cannon Beach

Steve & Judy after the ceremony…Inn at Cannon Beach

 

Steve & Judy and   Rev. Christina Irvine www.mycoastalwedding.com

Steve & Judy with Rev. Christina Irvine
www.mycoastalwedding.com

 

 

 

Easter reminds me of new beginnings and children… This is a great time to celebrate our most valuable resource…our future…our children…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

From Seasonal Wisdom…Gardening, Food and Folklore

Easter Bunny: It has long been said that fertile folks can “breed like rabbits.” No wonder many ancient cultures associated rabbits and hares with fertility, regeneration and spring. Old folklore believed rabbits cured sterility or difficult pregnancies. Even now it’s considered good luck to carry a rabbit’s foot. Perhaps the only ones who don’t consider rabbits a lucky symbol are the gardeners who have seen their flowers and vegetables devoured by the furry critters.

Immigrating Germans brought the Easter bunny to the United States. But the tradition wasn’t widely adopted in this country until after the Civil War.

Easter Eggs: It’s hard to imagine Easter without eggs. Yet, this tradition has roots that extend back to the earliest known civilizations. In fact, eggs represented rebirth and fertility to many ancient cultures.

Easter – Celebrating Life’s New Beginnings…

img_3385

Why does the month of April matter as we think about keeping kids safe?  Quote from this website article from Child Trends

“Some observances are ones you wish you did not have to mark. With some 686,000 children victimized annually by physical, mental, or sexual abuse, National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April is one of those observances.  If there is good news here, it is that reports of child abuse have been declining slightly over recent years.”

*****

Easter is very much about our Christian faith.  For me, Easter also represents the laughter and joy of healthy and happy kids.  When I recall long ago Easter celebrations with my own children and now observe little ones getting excited about the traditional Easter Egg hunt, I want to preserve this time of joy throughout the entire year and years to come.  As parents and adult mentors we know that our future depends on kids growing up as healthy and happy young adults with hope and promise for the future.  We are passionate about the safety and protection of our children who are the highest priority in our lives. 

Although we work very hard to keep our kids safe, it is a fact that there are thousands of children who live in toxic or traumatic circumstances all over America and around the globe.  It is critical to be reminded that all children are not safe and suffer from neglect and abuse in neighborhoods all around us in every corner of America.  We can help these kids have a better life while we keep our own children safe by getting involved in community events and other programs throughout the year that are focused on keeping children in a safe environment with loving adult mentors.  This extra adult attention for the children who are in need will make a huge difference for one child at a time.

On this Easter Sunday as we celebrate our Christian Faith, take quality time on this day and celebrate your children and others you know.  Your smile and kindness can easily give a child in need of that extra loving attention hope for a brighter future.  Do this everyday, not just on Easter Sunday…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

“Pinwheels for Prevention” at the Lincoln City Cultural Center April 19, 2012… Join community volunteers on the front lawn at 9am…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

pin_wheels_mini_1332702381 Pinwheels for Prevention…Lincoln City Cultural Center… Come and join community volunteers on the front lawn of the Cultural Center at 9am this Saturday…April 19, 2014…

Pinwheels for Prevention…official website…  Quote from this website… Big_Pinwheel_Garden_2014_02_00337

Actor Josh Charles and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Help Create Big Pinwheel Gardens in New York and Chicago!

“The Good Wife” actor Josh Charles helped Prevent Child Abuse America transform Times Square into the Big Pinwheel Garden on Tuesday, April 9, to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month and promote the pinwheel as the symbol for healthy starts for all children. Charles was joined by Manhattanmagazine’s Cristina Cuomo, Prevent Child Abuse America President and CEO Jim Hmurovich and over 200 volunteers, holding nearly 5,000 pinwheels to create the display.

*****

I was delighted to learn about the “Pinwheels for Prevention” event planned at the Lincoln City Cultural Center on the front lawn this coming Saturday starting at 9am.  The month of April is designated by the US Congress for National Child Abuse Awareness and month of the military child as well.  I have posted on this blog recognizing April as the month to remind ourselves of the painful silence of children who are emotionally neglected or abused.   It is also a time to think about the families who suffer with emotional challenges that often affect children and result in abuse, including military families.  Children often carry forward the emotional baggage of childhood trauma well into adult life.  I know this to be true as a post WWII and Korean War military child growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The national conversation during the month of April and throughout the year advances the cause of awareness and healing for millions of Americans…

Judy and I are planning to join our friends and neighbors on Saturday for this special event.  “Make a difference one child at a time.”  Hope to see you there!

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

Vice Chair, www.neighborsforkids.org

The Ft. Hood Shootings and Questions Concerning PTSD…

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

2962566393_52dc666fef_o

Ft. Hood Shootings Interview with PTSD experts… click here for informative video clip…ABC Action News quote…

“TAMPA – The recent shooting at Fort Hood military base has raised several conversations about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the effects it has on a person, specifically someone in the military.

The shooter, Spc. Ivan Lopez, was believed to have had PTSD, even though authorities are saying that was not the driving factor that lead to the mass shooting Wednesday.

Dr. Diego Hernandez is currently working on a special program with University of South Florida that focuses treating PTSD within former service members. Through the program they aim to resolve traumatic memories through methods of relaxation.

Hernandez joined ABC Action News’ John Thomas in studio Sunday morning to discuss the mental illness and what resources are available to those who suffer from it.

Joining him was former Army member Tony Williams Jr. who served at Ft. Hood. Now he runs Veterans Counseling Veterans. Also Ana Aluis, a former marine and President elect of Suncoast Mental Health Counselors Association, attended providing additional insight on local programs that are available during the discuss.”

*****

Treatment must start long before a soldier or trauma victim is left to struggle with the symptoms of PTSD on their own.  Most who wait eventually seek treatment, but it can be decades of emotional pain, and in the worst case, suicide.  Those who screen and provide counseling and treatment for PTSD must be highly sensitive to potential triggers that can cause a person to act out.  Soldiers and 1st responders believe “empathy” from family members and
loved ones help them heal…  Empathy is absolutely critical in the prevention of violence connected with victims of trauma!  Friends, loved ones, and care givers with awareness and a sensitive heart can make a big difference in helping trauma victims ease the pain and seek a path of healing…

Click on this video clip and listen to the experts answer questions about how you can help make a difference and potentially mitigate violence or save a life…  Awareness is the first step in the process of healing from the painful symptoms of PTSD.

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…

Mark Knopfler – Brothers in arms [Berlin 2007]… The mindfulness and healing value of music is powerful!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

 

DS_Brothers_in_Arms

 

“Brothers in Arms…”  Click on here for this emotionally powerful video music clip…

Artist lyrics…Brothers in Arms (Berlin 2007)…  Quote from this website…

“Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms…”

Brothers in Arms…Dire Straights Album…learn more…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Why Worry (song))
Jump to: navigation, search
Brothers in Arms
Studio album by Dire Straits
Released 13 May 1985 (1985-05-13)
Recorded AIR Studios, Montserrat, November 1984 – March 1985
Genre Rock, roots rock, blues rock, new wave
Length 55:07[Note 1]
Label Vertigo Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Mark Knopfler Neil Dorfsman
Dire Straits chronology
Alchemy (1984) Brothers in Arms (1985) Money for Nothing (1988)
Singles from Brothers in Arms
  1. So Far Away” Released: 8 April 1985
  2. Money for Nothing” Released: 24 June 1985
  3. Brothers in Arms” Released: 14 October 1985
  4. Walk of Life” Released: 30 December 1985
  5. Your Latest Trick” Released: 28 April 1986

Brothers in Arms is the fifth studio album by British rock band Dire Straits, released on 13 May 1985 by Vertigo Records internationally, and by Warner Bros. Records in the United States. Brothers in Arms charted at number one worldwide, spending ten weeks at number one on the UK Album Chart (between 18 January and 22 March 1986), nine weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and thirty-four weeks at number one on the Australian Album Chart. The album is the seventh best-selling album in UK chart history, is certified nine times platinum in the United States, and is one of the world’s best selling albums having sold 30 million copies worldwide.[1][2][3][4]

The album won two Grammy Awards in 1986, and also won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards.[5][6] Q magazine placed the album at number 51 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[7]

Traumatic events that can cause PTSD… Why do we tend to connect PTSD primarily to warriors?

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

 

83c526b3-c7d4-427d-8fa9-f7d9c3f874d0_3

.facebook_-1691975916

Traumatic Events and PTSD…The Cleveland Clinic…

What are the causes of PTSD?

“Any event that is life-threatening or greatly affects a person’s emotional well-being can result in PTSD. Examples of these traumatic events include:

  • rape
  • war
  • natural disasters (hurricane, tornado, etc.)
  • abuse
  • serious accidents
  • captivity

Traumas caused by other people (such as rape or assault) are more likely to cause PTSD. Strong emotions caused by these events can create changes in the brain that can bring about PTSD. People can also have PTSD for traumas they have perpetrated (i.e., soldiers who have shot enemy combatants can have PTSD).”

Who is at risk for PTSD?

Anyone who witnesses or experiences a traumatic event, especially if it is long-term or repeated, is at risk for PTSD. Certain groups, including war veterans and women, may be more likely to develop PTSD. For example, about 8% of men and 20% of women develop PTSD after a traumatic event.

It is not known why some people suffer from PTSD after a traumatic event and some do not. Some factors make you more likely to develop PTSD, including:”

  • Exposure to multiple traumatic events
  • Exposure to long-term or repeated traumas
  • Personal history of mental health problems, especially anxiety disorders
  • Lack of support from family and friends after a trauma

*****

By far, the public’s first reaction to the acronym, PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is war, warriors, combat veterans, military, soldiers, etc.  The on-set of PTSD is the normal reaction of the human brain’s chemistry to severe trauma.  The public is flooded by the media every day with the term PTSD as it relates to our heroes who serve America in all wars, especially when exposed to combat and injured with visible or invisible wounds.

It is not fair to veterans and their loved ones to isolate PTSD to one cause or one segment of our population.  It is also not fair to the thousands of people of all ages who experience trauma at home in America and elsewhere in the world each and every day, then suffer from the symptoms of PTSD.  Following is a quote from the back cover of my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, published in November of 2011:

“Approximately 8 Million Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.  Steve has the courage to share his story, hoping it will help others to address their PTSD and break the intergenerational cycle.  Don’t go the journey alone.  As in Steve’s story, it requires the connectedness with others to go down the path of hope and healing…” Beverly Ventura, Marriage Family Therapist and Life Coach, Laguna Counseling. 

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg

Beverly Ventura, MFT

When I first started to write my childhood and early adult story of my own traumatic experience, Beverly was one of the first of my dear friends I contacted to learn about the symptoms and implications of PTSD.  At first it was a shock to find out that my experience with trauma was not an exception.  I was not alone!  Beverly gave me the confidence and courage to write my story to help me find a path of healing while making a difference for others.   She spoke to me on the phone often, and on Skype with encouragement and friendship.  Bev even read my first manuscript and gave me pointers on character development.  Our conversations showed me the way to an abundance of research on the subject.  My new level of awareness of the roots and symptoms of PTSD, and how it affected my own family for decades, gave me the passion and motivation to write my first non-fiction story, including starting a website and blog.  I will be forever grateful to Beverly’s caring friendship and give her major credit for helping me find peace of mind later in life.  My life was changed forever and for the better as a result of pressing forward to write my book.  I could not have accomplished this huge task without the help from dear friends like, Beverly, and loved ones who pushed me forward.

Trauma leading to PTSD and moral injury compares to an epidemic in my view…  The intergenerational pain and suffering seems endless.  The lack of awareness and stigma connected with mental health challenges discourages treatment and conversation.  Young adults who served America in combat hesitate to admit to a diagnosis of PTSD and treatment for fear they will not find work.  Others who suffer from severe trauma as civilians are often ignored and shunned by family members and must fend for themselves.  My own experience is a testimonial of a post WWII family destroyed by PTSD and decades of emotional challenges that went untreated.

The good news is we are achieving more and more awareness and the conversation is much louder and deeper than it was just 3 years ago when my book was first published.  I continue to have hope and confidence that we are close to achieving critical mass in knowledge and awareness around the subject of trauma and PTSD.   The first step in healing from invisible wounds from war or other traumatic experiences in life is awareness.  My new level of knowledge, human connectedness and healing saved my life.  It is never too late to find your own journey of healing…

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

 

April is the month of the military child… Remember the sacrifice of the children of warriors who served too!

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my books, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1… (Kindle $2.99), and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at Barnes & Noble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

Month of the military child…  click on this link…

Meet Skyler, a military child…click on video clip here…

Army wife resource of the week…click on video clip here…

Published on Mar 27, 2014

” A Backpack Journalist ™ helps youth find their “VOICE” Building Resiliency through Creative Expression! Creating the Citizen Journalist of the future! This is a fabulous resource for our military kids and teens!”

Month of the military child post from 2013… by Steve Sparks

Military Children often live and cope with PTSD.  April is the month of the military child…

Celebrate the Month of the Military Child at MilitaryKidsConnect.org
MilitaryKidsConnect.org invites all military parents to spend quality time with their children this month at MilitaryKidsConnect.org, the only Department of Defense web site dedicated to the psychological health of military kids.

http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/

Anonymous said…  “I just came across this site..  I’m only 16 but my mom has suffered from PTSD my entire life. I had to “be the  parent” at 7, and am constantly switching roles between the child and the adult.  There should be more sites like this that offer support, but I can”t seem to  find any.”

                                                             #####

In this link, Military Kids with PTSD, I posted about my own observations and experience as a military child growing up with parents who suffered severely from the symptoms of PTSD.  As a military parent please take extra time to focus on your children.  Use not only this month of April…http://www.monthofthemilitarychild.com/, but take your awareness forward and help your kids understand how war affects families of combat veterans, especially children.  Use the resources to educate your kids with love and kindness.  Do not allow them to grow up feeling isolated and alone with the memories that are often painful and misunderstood.  As a parent or teacher you can make a huge difference in the lives of your kids on this critical issue.  We owe it to our children to give them the opportunity to grow up to live a healthy, happy, and productive life…

Steve10

Reflections of Post WWII Military Family Life…Steve Sparks 1956, age 10…

Mother always told Dad we were bad while he was away at sea.

We were safe and free when Dad sailed away.

Fear and beatings made us cry you see…

Mother seemed happier when Dad was away at sea.

With love, joy, and play,

Dreams of family all together forever.

The fear and beatings came again anyway…

By Steve Sparks 

Copyright  Protected 2013 by Steve Sparks.  All rights reserved… Children and Families in Life after Trauma… www.survivethriveptsd.com and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

 

WP to LinkedIn Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com