CONGRATULATIONS!

Congratulations to Jenny LM who won Susanne Dietze's My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho Prize pack!


Congratulations to Elise Jehan who won a copy of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BATTLE WOUNDS by Ronie Kendig - Win her books!


Jen here. It's my great pleasure to introduce today's guest,
Ronie Kendig!


Battle Wounds
by
Ronie Kendig

In a world of compromising values and weakening morals, a rare few take up the cause of those unable to defend themselves. Soldiers all across the globe are returning home to families after brutal tours of duty. Having endured the trauma of war, these brave souls often find they are not the same as when they kissed their loved one goodbye to fight for freedom abroad.

Back home, they are discharged from the service. . .and on their own. We call them heroes, but we don’t give them the support, encouragement, and acceptance they need to find help and healing. For many soldiers, they believe the mental anguish makes them weak. A lesser soldier. The truth is, they are hurting and broken—they need help. Coupled with physical and emotional healing, these soldiers need a deep, spiritual healing to accept the unique calling God has placed on their lives.

Jose Narosky said, “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” I have that quote up on the website for the Discarded Heroes, my military thriller series through Barbour Publishing. The theme of the books is the brutal reality of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the effects it has on our heroes.

The character of a soldier is made of a strong mettle. So, when these men and women—those we’ve deemed heroes—return home traumatized and psychologically affected, we do not know how to handle this. The stigma of being weak or the probability of losing their jobs/careers if diagnosed with PTSD or a similar disease, prevents many of our war-time heroes from seeking the proper medical and psychiatric help needed.

With roughly a quarter million soldiers serving in a war theater, our society must be prepared to receive these brave men and women back home. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans have little idea of the psychological affect war has on our heroes. We are ill-prepared to assist and support these soldiers as they deal with the traumas of war. Although the army has stepped up efforts to recognize and treat PTSD and other war-related diseases, it does not prevent the psychological effects.

While America, and at times even the world, is willing to hail these courageous men and women as heroes, rarely are the costs to our heroes tabulated. There are countless stories of the wounded warriors. Those who saw their fellow SEAL jump on a grenade, sacrificing his life to protect the team. The Marine staying behind to cover his men while they fled to safety after an ambush. Other soldiers who watch children mangled by IEDs.

Pretty, it isn’t. And far too often, it’s easier to look the other way. A part of us wants to blame someone. Even among the Christian community it is almost unacceptable to have emotional distress. Many well-meaning believers tell others to “forgive and forget,” to put it behind them. Yet, the weight of war is often too great, the battle wounds so deep the soldier buries the pain deeper inside.

We have done our soldiers a grave injustice by not offering more help and more understanding—true understanding. Many lament violence on TV. Many cry outrage at gang-related violence. And while still many protest war, there are the camouflaged victims we seem to forget. The heroes. Our soldiers. Those putting their lives on the line every day.

I challenge everyone, the next time you see one who serves in the military, take the time to stop and thank them for their sacrifice. Even if they haven’t been engaged in the war theater yet, there is a daily sacrifice they make in training for it.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ronie Kendig has a BS in Psychology and is a wife, mother of four, and avid writer. Her first espionage thriller, Dead Reckoning, released March 01, 2010 through Abingdon Press, and Nightshade, Book #1 in the Discarded Heroes series will release July 01, 2010. Ronie volunteers with ACFW, and she also teaches creative writing at her local homeschool co-op. Visit Ronie at her website or her blog.


A CHANCE TO WIN
Ronie has graciously offered to give away not one, but two books! For a chance to win a copy of her thrilling debut novel, Dead Reckoning (Abingdon Press) and Nightshade, book one in The Discarded Heroes series (Barbour), just comment on this blog. Please leave an email address so we can contact you if you're the winner (include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc, can't phish your address). A winner will be picked at random on April 10. Good luck!



19 comments:

  1. Good morning, Jen and Ronie :-) Ronie, thanks for joining us today and challenging us to consider the sacrifices our soldiers make on our behalf. I hope and pray the stigma attached to PTSD will disappear soon.

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  2. This is such a serious situation, Ronie. The media doesn't mention it a lot, but there is a huge number of suicides in the military. What more can be done, or maybe what's not being done to support these soldiers?

    It's awful. We need to be more mindful of what they are going through and seek out ways to show understanding and love.

    Congratulations on a wonderful series. I look forward to reading one soon.

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  3. You are so right about the readjustment issues for men/women who return to the US after fighting. I've got a niece who has gone twice, and the second time really took a damaging role in her life. All prior servicemen/women should have the opportunity for free counseling after discharge. Please enter me for your contest. I have Dead Reckoning, so I'd be interested in Nightshade. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  4. Good morning, All! Can't you tell that Ronie has a real heart for the men and women in the military?

    Ronie, thanks so much for being our guest!

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  5. Thank you all for your very kind comments. For my husband and I, this is a topic we're very passionate about. We have thousands of troops returning from combat. . .

    What can you do? Contact your representatives and encourage them to vote FOR more help for our soldiers. I've heard some proposed changes (dare I mention Obamacare?) will actually REDUCE the funding for our vets. No kidding. NOT the way we need to be going at this time in our country's history.

    I am just a small fish in a big pond, but together, we can swarm our reps. Also, maybe consider volunteering with your local VA hospital. Talk to a chaplain there and see if there's anything you can do.

    Again, thank you all for dropping by. Pray for our soldiers, protection over their hearts, minds, and bodies!

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  6. Great post Ronie. So full of good information. I think PTSD is becoming a little more well know through authors like you which is a good thing. It makes people aware of the realities these military personnel face when they return home.

    I would love to be entered in the drawing for Nighshade. I own, have read and loved Dead Reckoning.

    Blessings,
    Sherry
    love2stitch(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. I've heard a lot about, "Dead Reckoning," and would like to read it. Ronie also did an interview with me. Part I is posted on my blog today.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  8. Ronie, thank you so much for coming today (and thanks, Jen, for inviting her!). What a powerful post. I'm also grateful for the practical suggestions you offered to help the men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us safe.

    Congratulations on your series; I'll be checking them out soon!

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  9. Wow, what an amazing glimpse of the reality of our men and women in uniform. Ronie, thank you for this insight. I read your care and compassion between every line. So powerful.

    (I already have Ronie's books so please leave me out of the drawing. I'm excited for whoever wins to read her amazing stories!)

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  10. Hi Ronie,
    I'm so glad you're doing this series. I'm a social worker who is counseling nursing students. Way back in 1980 I did a long placement at the neruo-psych hospital at the VA in Pittsburgh. there were 3 VA hospitals then. I worked with the young guys in out-patient most of the time. Very, very hard to listen to their stories, but also very important for them to have that outlet. there's such a stigma related to mental health issues anyway it makes it twice as hard. But more than anything else with maybe the exception of prayer, these guys and gals need support in every way. Thanks for writing this series. Have you worked with veterans? Are you currently working in the mental health field?

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  11. Thanks so much, y'all! Dineen is my "twin" and crit partner, so she's already seen two of the military books. HUGS, girlie.

    Jill - Wow, I'd sure love your take on the books. No, I am not working in the mental health field. However, I am doing a lot of research, completing courses like PTSD 101, etc. It's quickly becoming a passion. You're absolutely right--that discussion is integral and a first step. That's what I intended for these books--to be a launch point for dialogue. I'd love it if you contacted me and we could talk more. I've befriended (through another friend) a chaplain who worked at the Waco VA and is now working at the Temple VA. He's been very helpful and encouraging. I am always looking for ways to learn. I feel so inadequate, but this is the least I can do for those who are putting their lives on the line so I can be here safe/sound.

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  12. These sound like great books and a great message for us all. The part that stands out to me is that a soldier might feel ashamed of his feelings of fear, grief, trauma, etc. Prayers for healing all kinds of wounds. mary(dot) aalgaard(at) yahoo(dot) com.

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  13. Ronie, thanks for visiting us at the Inkwell today. I love the cover of your book, and I love the theme. I am a proud mom of an army reservist, and I try to always thank soldiers when I see them.

    I saw a soldier at the train station in California the day before Easter. He looked to be in his early twenties at the most. I stopped and talked to him. I really thought he had just come home and was waiting for someone to pick him up, but it turned out he was leaving home and on his way to report for duty to the middle east. It broke my heart that he was all alone with no one to send him off. I've prayed for him several times since I first saw him.

    I remember being in an emergency room a few years ago and there was a great big soldier in uniform, young again, just sobbing his heart out. He had just returned from Iraq and was suffering traumatic effects of the war. It was heartbreaking. I've seen him since then, and he's received help and doing well, but I'll never forget that helpless feeling of wanting of wanting to take his ache away. Truthfully, I wanted at that moment to be his mom so I could comfort him like a mom. I'm so glad the doctors were able to get him proper help that day. But Ronie, you are so right. There are so many who don't get access to the resources they need. It's such a shame. I thank God for all of our military members.

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  14. I've seen first hand what war can do to a man, how it can change them. I am glad you are tackling such a tough topic.

    Please include me.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  15. Thanks for your posting and thought provoking message. So often we focus on soldiers going out to serve our country and fighting in the war that we forget we need to help them become accustomed back to life, which will never be the same because of what they've seen or experienced. This is important too.

    Please enter me in the book drawing.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

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  16. Hey Ronie, nice to meet you. I'm a retired member of the Canadian Armed Forces after serving 20 yrs, non of them in the battlefield. My husband served in Bosnia for 6 months, though, and I worried about his frame of mind quite a bit. I'd had a pre-cursor to him leaving, though because he'd already served 6 months up in Alert which is the settlement closest to the North Pole. Other wives had said their husbands were never the same after returning from Alert. They either turned 'into themselves' or had become alcoholics. I didn't want either!

    But God blessed us. As the lone military policeman at Alert, hubby had 'the keys' to the place. And the only vehicle. He spent many hours outside securing the base and exploring the environment instead of zoning out and drinking when he wasn't working like many of the others who served up there got into the habit of doing.

    He came back the same way he left - in both cases. As an investigator working with the UN, he saw and wrote home about some awful things. I've kept his letters and someday will show them to the kids. (Our girls are adults now) But he saw some really horrid stuff. My mom asked him how he can NOT let what he saw affect him and he said that was there and this is here. God gave him the ability to close his mind to those other things and not let them affect him.

    I am truly blessed.

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  17. Wow, thanks so much for sharing your experience. You're so right--some soldiers return "unscathed". Granted, it changes them (makes them more aware of things), but not everyone ends up battling PTSD.

    Many blessings on your and your family!

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  18. It was so great to see all of you here! The winner of Ronie's books is.... Mary Aalgaard! (I'll be sending you an email to get your mailing info)

    Big thanks again to Ronie Kendig for taking time to hang out with us. Huge blessings to you as you continue to write for Him!

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  19. Thank you so much. I am really interested in reading this book!

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