While we have made great strides with the awareness and treatment of veterans suffering from PTSD in the past decade (although there is still a ways to go), unfortunately we lag in other areas. In particular, the help available for families is woefully limited - especially when it comes to the children of our men and women who have served. It's hard enough for a veteran to learn to accept the changes in who they are because of war, to figure out who they are now and how to deal with life. How do you explain to a child why their parent doesn't handle the stress they way they always should? How little things can set them off at the wrong time? The issues with crowds, or traffic, or loud noises, or the thousand other things which are hard enough to explain to an adult? Most importantly, how do you help the child understand that these things are not their fault, that the problems dad or mom have are caused by something in the past, and that families can learn to get through them together?
Army veteran Seth Kastle faced these challenges in his own life with his daughters, following tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result of his experiences he wrote and published a book called "Why is Dad So Mad?" I was privileged enough to be able to take my own children to hear him speak the past weekend (at an event sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project), and to hear him read his book for the kids present. Impressively, he also took the time to answer not just the questions some of the adults had, but he took the time to answer every child's question, to interact with all of them, and to remind them that they mattered. He also made sure to provide each family with a copy of the book at no charge. To say I was touched by the generosity of Mr. Kastle and the Wounded Warrior Project was an understatement.
The book is well written, age appropriate, and does a great job for any pre-teens of helping to explain just a little what is going on. Additionally he has a version for moms coming out this year for female veterans in need.
So - please consider supporting Mr. Kastle if you know anyone who may benefit from this. Let's do what we can to help the families just like we try to our veterans.
*NOTE* - I am receiving no compensation or benefit from these links. While Mr. Kastle and the Wounded Warrior Project provided a copy of his book for my children, they had no knowledge or connection with this blog post in any way. I am doing this purely as a means of spreading awareness about a cause I support. Thank you.
Just a few ramblings from a confused guy. Former military, former cop. Husband. Father. Student. Role playing gamer, on intermittent weeks. Avid reader. Internet addict. Small "l" libertarian. Too many others to mention. The views and opinions expressed herein are my own, and do not reflect those of any official agency or government or species. Names have been changed to protect the guilty; God protects the innocent as a matter of course.
“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds
Monday, May 18, 2015
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