Children from the Post WWII generation are learning more about parents sacrifices…a journey of healing…

by | Feb 28, 2013

Tom Schmiedeler, geography professor at Washburn University, talked about tracing the path of his father’s reconnaisance unit across Europe in World War II. Schmiedeler and his wife made the trip in 2012.  From this website…

The medals earned by his father weren’t on display in the family home in Tipton in Mitchell County, but three shotguns seized in Haberstadt, Germany, were cradled on elk antlers mounted on the wall. The shotguns, including one with three barrels, likely were seized from a German hunting lodge, he said.
“When you grew up, you knew those guns came from the war,” Schmiedeler said.
Schmiedeler had mulled over the trip to Europe to trace his father’s Army unit for 20 years. A brother had copied “The Diary of Troop B,” and that was Schmiedeler’s blueprint for the trip.
“The trip was a way of reconnecting with the memory of my father,” Schmiedeler said.

I know the feeling of reconnecting with my own father after he passed away in 1998.  I know Dad so much better now and feel the connection with him each day while writing this blog and working with children and families of veterans who served America…  Recently written stories on this blog from my post WWII friends show the healing value of reconnecting with parents and learning about the sacrifices during WWII and in life after war…  Go to a post from my friend and colleague Byron Lewis as an example…  I know Byron felt a deep connection with his father following the family’s discovery of  writings and photos from WWII.  Learn about the famous “Black Cats Squadron” in Byron’s story when his father served during WWII in the Pacific… 

Our parents who served in combat during WWII were mostly silent about the subject of war.  They were often challenged with symptoms of PTSD and behaved in ways we didn’t understand.  When returning to the past and revisiting the memories of childhood it can be painful while healing because living with a parent who suffers from moral injury and PTSD causes children to be isolated and less than loved.  The feelings bottled up over the years never provide peace of mind until we open up and revisit the past.  Learning about our parents sacrifices and challenges during the war and in life after war provides a healing perspective that allows the children of war to move forward.  I have a whole new respect for my own father’s service to America and as a man who cared deeply but struggled his entire life with the emotional pain of experiencing the horror of war… 

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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