Post WWII kids are beginning to reach out about the pain of growing up with a parent who suffered from moral injury and PTSD while serving in combat…

by | Oct 12, 2012


Roscoe said…

Thank You for the fine book, reading this made me think of myself and close childhood friends, me being the son of a WW11Navy vet, Richard M the son of a B17 navigator and Ron J. the son of a WW11 UDT “frogman”  All three of us were offspring of some pretty seriously troubled men. We all didn’t realize the problem of PTSD our dads suffered from, and unfortunately became troubled ourselves. I liked your comment on the intergenerational effects this had had on our lives, and how we can become the weakest link in the chain of intergenerational PTS through forgiveness and understanding. Although I am not of any mainstream religious persuasion, one thought has been with me for many years is “Forgive them for they knew not what they have done” I’ve worked long and hard on this thought,as you have.
Thanks again for a very powerful book and having the courage to reveal your life’s challenges and victories.

October 10, 2012 10:58 AM

All wars have affected the children of a parent who suffered from the symptoms of moral injury and PTSD.  In the case of Roscoe and his friends, they were all kids from the post WWII generation.  I know the drill well and wrote about it from my heart in my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Reading Roscoe’s comments above to one of my blog postings, reminded me that our WWII parents suffered in silence by not talking about war or getting adequate treatment, but acted out in ways that created a toxic home culture, venting anxiety and anger at children, spouses, and loved ones in general.  The high percentage of kids born just before or following WWII are just beginning to talk as a result of the freedom given to them to speak about past fears and abuse piled on for an entire childhood and in adult life, causing an intergenerational PTSD problem.  Most WWII combat veterans like my Dad and countless others, including Roscoe’s father, who came home from the war damaged emotionally, were told to “go home and forget about it.”  Most who suffered from severe PTSD symptoms used alcohol to self-medicate, which caused them to act out more severely from their pain with aggression toward kids and loved ones.  Consequently, in addition to young combat veterans returning home, older Viet Nam veterans who are post WWII kids, and thousands of “boomers” coming of age are now faced with addressing all the baggage carried around for so many years.   I hear every day about damaged family relationships with children and spouses.   These older sufferers of PTSD are attempting to reconcile with loved ones to achieve spiritual peace of mind.  The above comments reinforce how my book, as just one example of creating awareness, has given me peace of mind along with others who read my book.  I feel blessed that all the pent up anger from my childhood and adult experience is no longer “heavy baggage” to carry around.  The worst past experience of children growing up with a parent who served in combat and suffered from moral injury, is not knowing why or where the emotional pain and anger came from until now.   Damaged relationships of the past can now be reconciled and repaired much easier.  Peace of mind can be achieved albeit later rather than sooner.  I am so encouraged to keep up my campaign of moral injury and PTSD awareness as more and more men and women affected by war come forward and begin to understand the roots of PTSD and moral injury, clearly a legacy of war….  Thank you, Roscoe, from the bottom of my heart, for reaching out and making a difference for others by sharing your story…

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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