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