Healing Traumatized Kids…My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2…August 14th…70th Anniversary End of WWII

Training Teachers and Mentors to be Trauma Informed…video clip

Helping Children Affected by Trauma Circumstances…at Crittenton Children’s Center

Crittenton Children’s Center, Saint Luke’s Health System

Crittenton Children’s Center has excelled for more than a century at effectively treating the mental and behavioral health care needs of children, adolescents, and their families. Our facility offers a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital, foster care and adoption case management, intensive in-home services, school-based intervention, and more.

Crittenton Children’s Center:

  • Provides more actively practicing board-certified psychiatrists than any other similar facility in the region
  • Uses multiple evidence-based therapy interventions to ensure the best outcomes for patients
  • Is licensed as a psychiatric hospital by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
  • Is licensed as a Child Placing Agency and Residential Child Care Agency by the Missouri Department of Social Services-Children’s Division
  • Trauma Smart program is a highly successful early childhood trauma intervention program designed to help heal children 3-5 years of age


Saving your children, family, and loved ones from inter-generational post-traumatic stress (PTS)…

My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2, will be released on Friday August 14, 2015.  The non-fiction narrative represents 4 years of outreach and research captured in my blog, Children and Families in Life after Trauma. Selected topics are organized in 8 chapters focused on trauma affected family circumstances and positive outcomes.

This 3rd book release is about my personal journey of healing.  I write as a survivor of childhood and early adult trauma  growing up in a toxic military family torn apart by WWII and Korean War.  My blog, Children and Families in Life after Trauma provides rich content for this e-book.  The narrative carries the reader on a story of inspiration, passion, and discovery of the roots of trauma-affected children and provides strategies for parents, teachers, and loved ones to help mitigate the suffering.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2… Click highlighted text for my author page.

Excerpt from Chapter 2, My Journey of Healing, Part 2…

My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2…for children and families who live and cope with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)…


Each of the 8 chapters in my new book, to be released soon, are page turners for all who want to learn more and make a difference for others who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

Chapter 2…Local Community, Partnerships, and Responsibility

Are we doing better caring for America’s veterans who return home to life after war? Are more government studies a solution? Are we engaging local communities effectively? This next chapter will help show the way forward right at home in the communities where veterans return to resume their lives in life after war…

“DOD and the Veterans Affairs Department are “collaborating to shape policies and programs with a long term impact on returning warriors, during military service and after transition to civilian life,” he added. He called for increased screening and referral of service members believed to be experiencing PTSD, and for improved access to quality care for those being treated.”

“Hammer told the task force members his organization benefits efforts throughout the Defense Department to help those suffering from PTSD and TBI. “We believe that by serving as the principal integrator and authority on psychological health and traumatic brain injury knowledge and standards for DOD,” he said, “we are uniquely positioned to accelerate improvement and care.”

We need much more at the local community level to support veterans returning home from deployment…

In my view, it is a continuous challenge for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs Department to strengthen the delivery of improved policies and programs for warriors returning home to life after war.  Although we have appropriate policies and programs available and consistently updated, it is in the execution and delivery where we fail.  I believe local communities collaborating with the private and public sectors as the ultimate solution.   We need a public private partnership business model that works effectively in the local communities across America.  Once our veterans our “processed” following leaving the service or returning home for a break from deployment, the “soul feeding” care needed on an on-going basis at the local level is lost in the shuffle.  I still have not seen anything from the top that reaches out to local communities in a way that transfers the responsibility of caring for our warriors back to the communities that sent them into war and combat in the first place…

A “Call to Action” in local communities is critical! Public and private non-profit partnerships are critical to delivering solutions.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1…  Click on the highlighted text for my author page…

“The Wrath of Stigma!” is the first chapter of my new book, My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 2.

Saving your children, family and loved ones from inter-generational Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS)

Following is an excerpt from my new book to be released soon…

“Stigma is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” they say…  “After all the research and writing on the subject of PTS/PTSD, including this blog with close to 800 postings offering tons of information about my own experience, references and resources with the goal to help others, the human condition of STIGMA leaves me stone cold and in a quandary.  It is clear that we should all seek treatment immediately following a moral injury and living with the awful symptoms of depression and anxiety, including panic attacks.  But it would be dishonest for me to suggest to anyone who fears losing opportunities and dreams of career success, especially loving relationships and spiritual growth in life, to ever admit a mental health challenge.

My latest book is dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1.  Click on highlighted text for my author page…

‘Il Silencio’ (The Silence)… So Powerful So Moving… by Melissa Venema with André Rieu and his orchestra at the ‘Vrijthof’ in Maastricht.

Mellisa Venema

‘Il Silencio (The Silence) a rendition of TAPS  Click on this beautiful rendition of the original version of TAPS!

This clip will bring tears to your eyes and remind us all of the sacrifices to save freedom and the 70th Anniversary of the End of WWII.  The following quote is provided as another way to remember and honor the veterans of all wars…


                                                 Il Silenzio

About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall/winter of 1944.

Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted.  It is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home.

Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert.   The final piece is always “ Il Silenzio ,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

This year the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutchgirl, Melissa Venema, backed by André Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands).  This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.”

Following is a more complete list of WWII American’s buried on European soil.

The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France… A total of 2289

The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium… A total of 5329

The American Cemetery at Brittany, France… A total of 4410

Brookwood, England  – American Cemetery… A total of 468

Cambridge, England… A total of 3812

Epinal, France – American Cemetery… A total of 5525

Flanders Field, Belgium… A total of 368

Florence, Italy… A total of 4402

Henri-Chapelle, Belgium… A total of 7992

Lorraine , France… A total of 10,489

Luxembourg, Luxembourg… A total of 5076

Meuse-Argonne… A total of 14,246

Netherlands, Netherlands... A total of 8301

Normandy, France… A total of 9387

Oise-Aisne, France… A total of 6012

Rhone, France… A total of 861

Sicily, Italy… A total of 7861

Somme, France… A total of 1844

St. Mihiel, France… A total of 4153

Suresnes, France… A total of 1541

Honoring all US Cemetaries in Europe…another moving tribute clip of TAPS…

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 2… Click highlighted text for my author page…






We can thank the US Army and WWII troops trained at Camp Abbot, and John D. Gray for Sunriver Resort!

Camp Abbot sign at Sunriver.  Click for larger view…
Interior of the Great Hall (former Camp Abbot Officer’s Club) Click for larger view…
johngray.nar (1)
John D. Gray… Click for article in the Oregonian…

“From his family, to guests at the resorts he created, to the beneficiaries of his philanthropy, Portland developer John D. Gray wanted Oregonians to enjoy what the state and region have to offer.  During World War II, he served in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, earning the rank of lieutenant colonel and a Bronze Star Medal.”

  Camp Abbot, WWII…

“Military officials established Camp Abbot, about 11 miles south of Bend, to serve as an Engineer Replacement Training Center (ERTC) in 1943, with soldiers first arriving for training in March. As many as 10,000 men could train at a time at the camp, with 90,000 men trained over its 14 months of operation. The typical 17-week combat engineering training cycle included three phases. The first focused on hand grenades and anti-tank grenades; defense against air, mechanized, and chemical attack; and rifle marksmanship. The second phase concentrated on demolition training to blast bridges and other structures. The final phase consisted of three weeks of field maneuvers carried out under combat zone conditions.”


On the 70th Anniversary, End of WWII, we can honor and remember the troops who trained as combat engineers at Camp Abbot.  The US Army built the initial infrastructure to help create this gorgeous area next to the Deschutes River what we know today as Sunriver…  US Army Corps of Engineers learned how to build bridges and destroy enemy bridges.  They also learned how to defend themselves as a special forces team under combat zone conditions.

Camp Abbot protected our freedoms during WWII and built the foundation for the citizens of Oregon to enjoy this beautiful area following the end of the war.  John D. Gray, a famous developer and WWII veteran from Portland, Oregon purchased the property in 1967.  Mr. Gray also developed Salishan near our home in Depoe Bay, Oregon.

By Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive The Oregonian “You can be excused for not recognizing the name: Gray, who died at 93, had faded in recent years from the news, and his death was initially treated in a way that understated his enormous contributions in shaping the modern identity of this state and in guiding and supporting many of its leading institutions.

There is so much to learn about the history of the State of Oregon.  Everywhere we go, we learn something new and connect the dots often to the “Greatest Generation” of men & women who served America during WWII.  We can never honor veterans of all wars enough…  But we can take note of the of critical institutions and foundations that have helped protect our freedoms and built America as the strongest and most prosperous nation in the world.  Camp Abbot and John Gray paved the way for the gift and joy of Sunriver, Oregon.

Judy and I are headed out to float in a Kayak down the Deschutes River on this perfect day in May…  We are so thankful for the dedication and passion of so many who came before us… It is a blessing to be an American citizen…

Deschutes River, Oregon

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1…Click the highlighted text for my author page…