Children affected by a traumatic or tragic event(s) need treatment sooner rather than later!

Piper (top left) and Sailor (bottom left) with parents Kim and Marty Gutzler. All but Sailor, 7, died in a plane crash that also claimed family member Sierra Wilder (not pictured).

7 year old survives plane crash…a miracle!  Click on this Good Morning America news video!

“A 7-year-old girl who survived a plane crash and then trekked nearly a mile through dense woods to get help held out hope that her parents, sister and cousin might somehow have survived, too, police said.”


How do lone survivors of traumatic events or accidents cope?  Quote from this website article… By Kathryn Westcott 
BBC News

Survivors Guilt… Click on this link for more…


“I still I think about it a lot, particularly, of course, when there is an air crash,” she said. “But at other times as well. That experience follows me where ever I go.”

Many who survive such disasters – particularly sole survivors – suffer from what is known as “survivors’ guilt”.

One aspect of this is feeling somewhat unworthy of survival. Then there is the feeling of isolation, as there is no survivors’ network in which experiences can be shared and bonds formed.


Traumatic events in the lives of children, including accidents where others are killed, domestic violence or child abuse, are sometimes ignored because of an incorrect assumption that kids are resilient or will not remember.  The traumatic time in my life as a child was the 1950’s during the period of my father’s post WWII and Korean War challenges of coping with his own trauma from the war, including the loss of close battle buddies.  Our entire family was affected during a time when there was little or no awareness or treatment of PTSD symptoms and moral injury on children and families of warriors.

Trauma survivors feel a sense of guilt or unworthiness that can last a lifetime if not treated or confronted.  Denial can take hold over time and become a huge barrier in finding an appropriate path of healing to achieve peace of mind.  This was exactly the case with me until later in life following research and writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  It is also true that young children can experience memory loss over time, making treatment and reconciliation even more challenging.  I can’t remember my life experience or the traumatic events in our toxic home until around 9 or 10 years old.  Fortunately, confronting my memories and the emotional baggage carried forward for decades from age 10 allowed me to begin healing from the pain that for so long was bottled up inside of me.

The big lesson for all parents or guardians when children are affected by traumatic life events such as the little girl, Sailor, who survived the plane crash in the story above, is to start treatment right away.  Kids need to go back and retrace the events surrounding the tragedy so they can deal with the trauma effectively right away rather than waiting.  The pain of bottled up tragic memories can often stick around forever.  Even lost painful memories as a child are still tucked away in the back of our brain waiting to escape and be the catalyst of long term healing.  It is the spiritual human connectedness and mindfulness of releasing the pain of trauma and tragedy from our hearts and minds that heals.  Sharing with trauma survivors and bonding with others are good strategies to achieve a lasting peace of mind…

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…

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


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…