Tag Archives: WWII & Korean War Military Spouses

Honoring Military Spouses and Mothers of Modern Wars…Happy 97th to my Mom, WWII & Korean War…

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Marcella C. Sparks, Age 97, US Navy Spouse & Mother WWII & Korean War.  With son, Steve Sparks…

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Vernon H. Sparks, BMC, US Navy c1943, USS Belle Grove LSD2

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Military Spouses Now & Then… By Dana Bretz Click on this link for more…  Quote…from Military Spouses Advocacy Network…

“Twenty three years later (following WWI), we were preparing for yet another world war and we answered that all too familiar call. The call that your country needs you, and without hesitation spouses gave what their country demanded of them, even on the heels of The Great Depression when times were still tough. Spouses went to work in defense plants and volunteered for many war related organizations such as The Red Cross. Life on the home front was a crucial part of the war effort and had a significant influence on the outcome of this particular war. Spouses, in part, helped supply the fruits of victory. That is where we come from, remember that!”

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The photo above of my mother was taken recently while visiting her in Reno, Nevada.  With each visit for so many years now, I couldn’t help asking myself if this was the last time I would see her.  Well, Mom, is turning age 97 this month of September and she is still up and around living her life in the comfortable and caring home of Regent Care Center in Reno, Nevada.

We owe so much to the military spouses and moms of all wars!  “Together we served!”  Without the courageous military spouses of “then and now,” we military kids, including my own boomer generation, would not be here at all.  War weary soldiers and sailors had the hopes and dreams of going home to resume their lives, which gave them the spiritual power and bravery to get through each day, no matter how horrific the circumstances of battle.  We remember and honor the ultimate sacrifice of countless numbers of warriors who didn’t make it home.  Many had children they never met.  It was then and now that the military spouse as a single mom, had to carry on and raise the children who would not have a father.  For those warriors who did come home, the war often came home with them.  It was then and now a double duty to care for a broken warrior as well as raise the children who came before and after the war was over…

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Regent Care Center, Reno, Nv

It is with love, privilege and honor to celebrate my mother’s birthday; and her service to America.  Military families serve(d) too!  It was a hard road for my parents and countless couples who came out of the Depression Era to fight for freedom during World War II.  The home front was critical to fighting and winning wars then and now…

Happy Birthday, Mom!  I am counting on our next visit.  The memories of all our visits in recent years are very special…

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

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Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, and Child Advocate

“I was easy prey.” October is Month of Awareness for Domestic Violence!

 

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“Be a Kids Hero!” Click banner for larger view…

 

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“I was easy prey.” Her first memory of being sexually abused is when she was just four-years old…

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Ginger Kadlec… Impassioned child advocate. Enthusiastic dog and cat mommy. Proud aunt. Happy wife.

 

“I was easy prey…”  click on highlighted website article by Ginger Kadlec…  Quote from the article follows…

“He was close to my mother, he visited our family home,” Susan Crocombe recalls in an interview with Steve Harris of BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast in Dorset 103.8 fm. “If mum was having a bad day, she would be in bed… so he had complete access to me. I actually loved him. I would have done anything for him.”

“He” was a member of Susan’s extended family who sexually abused her for years. She recalls, “Things he did became quite serious 18 months leading up to my 13th birthday,” at which point her molester began feeding his addiction by sharing her with other adults, including taking photographs of and filming her.

“I associated presents with rewards for being good. I was easy prey.”~Susan Crocombe

In this BBC Radio Solent interview, Susan reflects on the sexual abuse she endured as a child and the impact the abuse had on her as a teenager and adult. She discusses issues like being groomed and says, “Who doesn’t like to feel special to get gifts, presents, be validated? For me, it was very subtle. I was very young, so I didn’t know what was happening was wrong… I associated presents with rewards for being good. I was easy prey.”

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In my view, the above reference is absolutely the worst case scenario and tragedy connected with domestic violence and child abuse!  I lived in a highly toxic home while growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  The vivid memories of being scared and living with domestic violence still haunts me at times.  My home was affected by the hard combat trauma my father experienced during all of WWII and deployment during the Korean War.  We did not have any kind of domestic violence awareness during the post WWII era…let alone a month like October designated to help children and families become more aware of its seriousness, long term impact on mental health, and ways to get help.  We siblings, as military kids, felt scared and alone most of the time.  We were afraid to go home when Dad was home for fear of the next beating that could come our way or the threatening emotional outbursts that often came out of nowhere as Dad struggled with his own demons.  Mother was affected severely as a wartime military spouse and from her own traumatic childhood during the “depression era.”  Our entire family was emotionally damaged and we thought it was just normal and mostly our fault as kids for not being good.  What happened in our home stayed at home.  From all appearances our family behaved as normal adults and kids outside of the home and in school.  We would not dare speak of being scared to go home…  Dad was a WWII US Navy hero by day and an angry and dangerous man by night.

Thousands of families were toxic like ours during this post WWII era, but we didn’t know it until later in life when the topic of combat related PTSD was finally revealed and understood more clearly.  But the stigma of mental health challenges and the intergenerational effects of post trauma symptoms referred to as secondary PTSD or complex PTSD kept countless children and families from seeking help.  The stigma of PTSD remains a big challenge to this day!

I lived with the emotional baggage of child abuse and domestic violence until later in life while doing research on our post WWII family’s toxic culture and the how war affects the mental health of soldiers and sailors long after the war ends.  Writing my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story, was finally the beginning of my own journey of healing at age 64, and I am not alone… If it had not been for the gift of awareness, I would still be living with emotional pain.  It is a joy to look forward to each day now with peace of mind.   The anger, depression, and anxiety tearing away at my heart and soul is now gone, but is a work in progress to keep the pain of past trauma at a safe distance.  I am very blessed and thankful for the work of Ginger Kadlec  and many others in the mental health community for building awareness through social media.  I am also grateful for the support of my family and friends who help keep me grounded with positive energy each and every day…

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…

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Steve Sparks, Age 10, 1956…

Happy Mother’s Day to My Mom, Marcella C. Sparks… A Military Mom and Spouse from WWII & Korean War…she served too!

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Mom, October 24, 2013

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Marcella & Vernon Sparks c1940

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

Judy and I are going to visit my mother, Marcella in a couple of weeks.   Mom is a survivor and still a fighter on this Mothers Day 2014.  She raised her children as a military Mom while Dad was fighting for our freedoms during WWII and the Korean War.  She was a single mother with her first child, son Jerry, born 3 months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 while Dad was serving on the USS West Virginia.  She waited for my father for all of WWII while he was serving aboard the USS Belle Grove (LSD2) in the Asiatic Pacific Theater.  The rest of the Sparks clan came into the world right after the end of WWII and joined the boomer generation.  There were thousands of WWII military mothers who served America during the “Greatest Generation” of  warriors of that time.  We now honor all military Moms on this Mothers Day, May 11, 2014.  Never forget that the families of veterans of all wars served too…especially mothers, including my Mom…

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

 

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_said_laughter_is_good_for_the_soul

Mother’s Day 2012

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22, NIV)

We try to get Mom to laugh and usually have no problem doing so these days. We are grateful for she shows peace of mind. She is surrounded by loving caregivers. Our loved ones deserve peace and comfort at this time in their lives. My Mom like so many from WWII are all heroes and served too!

Steve Sparks
Author
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story