Tag Archives: Honoring veterans of all wars

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

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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…

Oregon Veterans Memorials Directory…Visit memorials close to home on this Veterans Day…

 

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Veterans Memorials in Oregon…  click highlighted text…

 

Oregon Veterans Memorials Directory…  Click on highlighted text for more…

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This is a red granite memorial tablet mounted behind on a gray granite slab with an electric flame on a pedestal in front of the Lincoln County Courthouse.

Flame of Freedom…Newport, Oregon  Click highlighted text for more…

Two years ago while walking around our City Park in Depoe Bay, Oregon, I stopped to look closely at our town’s VFW Veterans Memorial.  When I looked closer, the name Ronald Allen Slane, Sp5, US Army 1967-68 was engraved on the plaque as an example to honor veterans of all wars.  Ron was a medic who died during an ambush in Vietnam while trying to save another soldier…he didn’t even have a weapon to defend himself.  “Ron Slane, Lincoln City, Oregon, volunteered to go to war as an army medic.  He was a conscientious objector, but believed he had a duty to serve in some way.”

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Depoe Bay, Oregon VFW Memorial…Click photo for a larger view…

 

I have written many articles in this blog honoring veterans, including my father, Vernon H. Sparks US Navy WWII & Korean War.  It has been healing for me to visit veterans and 1st responder memorials during my travels around America since writing and publishing my book in November 2011.  I have written about my visits, including personal thoughts and reflections, in this blog since that time.  My most recent blog post during our travels to Long Beach, California was about the “Lone Sailor” Memorial, which was built on Ocean Avenue near where my mother lived with first born son, Gerald V. Sparks, while Dad was deployed on the USS West Virginia (BB48) during the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.  My oldest brother, Jerry, was born three months before Pearl Harbor in September 1941.  Jerry is also a retired US Navy Vietnam Veteran with 30 years of service… I was, of course, born in July of 1946, because Dad survived WWII and came home in June of 1945 after many months fighting in the Pacific War…  Because Dad came home from WWII, Jerry was able to grow up with 3 brothers and one sister.

For me, and millions of kids born before and after WWII, Veterans Day, is very personal.  Now, in retirement, I devote much of my spare time honoring veterans of all wars, including my father, along with my mother and countless other military families of that time who served too…  I also honor my fellow veterans who served during the Vietnam War, and all the wars since then.  We can never thank our veterans and their families enough for serving America while protecting the freedoms we enjoy each and every day of our lives.  This is a debt that can never be paid back…

So, on this Veterans Day, go visit at least one veterans memorial close to home, and give thanks to all those who have served, who serve now, and will serve in the future, including 1st responders who keep us safe on the home front.  Thank the families and loved ones who serve too, and who become the care givers to our heroes who return home with moral and physical injuries that often require a lifetime of healing.   

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 & 2…