Steve Sparks writes, "I owe my success in part to my Dad, but not without a high price. I call this 'collateral damage' from living in a family culture affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At that time, men at war and coming home from war were too proud to share their stories and admit that anything in the way of mental illness was on the table for discussion. My Dad was no different than thousands of veterans with similar symptoms, especially those who were battle weary and emotionally damaged. The children and wives and others close to these men would have to experiment and learn how to navigate our way through a terrible circumstance. We did it well, but not without scars that often show. WWII has been in our past for well over a half century, and most of the 'Greatest Generation' passed on, but the effects of PTSD carry forward just like bad genes. We are still feeling the effects of WWII when PTSD was not studied and treatment was minimal. As a result, we are just beginning to address the realities of PTSD, including diagnosis and treatment, along with complete recovery from this unfortunate mental illness is now possible."
This is a true American story about father who went to war and came back changed by what he saw and by what he experienced. How this impacted his family was profound, yet unrecognized for what it was back then. Today we know much more about the effects of PTSD on the individual, but what about the family members closest to that person? This story of living through a toxic environment yet ultimately coming to an understanding leads to the long sought reconciliation of a son with his father.
A very timely book, this may help the thousands of families of veterans of our own current generation returning from their war experiences to better understand the effects of PTSD on the family.
About the Author:
Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive following over 35 years beginning with the US Navy as a radioman in 1963. He Graduated with a BA in Management from St. Mary's College, Moraga, California. Steve is married to his soul mate and business partner, Judy, and lives on the Oregon coast. He is the proud father of 3 grown daughters and 4 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. In addition to writing, Steve's current passion and life work is mentoring and improving the education of K-12 kids, including helping the responsible non-profit agency Neighbors for Kids achieve sustainability.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am an early baby boomer born in 1945 just days after WWII ended. Both my uncle and father participated in that war. My uncle retired an admiral but was captain of a destroyer which was severely damaged by torpedo in the Pacific Theater of WWII. As a young child I remember him telling me stories of that fateful day and his efforts that saved the ship and brought it back safely but not without loss of life and severe injuries. It was my first understanding of the tragedies of war and, while devastating, it instilled in me an interest in war and it¿s effects on the millions of people who have been impacted over my 65+ year history on earth and even before (I have always had an interest in and studied the US Civil War) I have followed closely the major conflicts in Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The casualty counts in these wars have been horrific. Mostly all we hear about are the physical destruction of life and limb (those killed in action and wounded) via the daily counts as published on the internet or newspapers. Until recently we rarely have been exposed to the psychological impacts of war that have had major devastating effects on individuals and families lives. As indicated in the book these have always been referred to as ¿Battle Fatigue¿ I have heard stories, seen some movies on the topic and maybe read a few articles but nothing as enlightening and definitive as this portrayed by author Steve Sparks in this telling expose on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mr. Sparks does a masterful job of bringing to light the destructive effects of PTSD by reliving his own lifelong experiences with the disease and its impact on him, his family, career, and society. Not only do we learn of the struggles and exponential damage this disease has caused but on the positive side we also learn ways in how to cope with PTSD and more importantly key lessons learned in this author¿s experiences in the healing, hope and path to self discovery. This is a timely narrative. I would highly recommend it to any of the 8 million servicemen and their families who have either experienced PTSD or may yet experience it. The book could provide some valuable understanding and long overdue closure or, better yet, stave off a lifelong struggle in having to deal with the destructive impact of this crippling disease.