Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Special Invitation to 'Odyssey'...

Last night I  met a woman and her three-year-old grandson. The woman's daughter, and the boy's mother, is currently deployed overseas in the US military. The boy has  not seen his mother, or his father, since he was born. Both his mother and father are  receiving treatment for physical, psychological and emotional injuries  they suffered  while serving in two consequtive wars.

There are countless other American military families in similar situations. Do we really 'honor their sacrifice', as is so often proclaimed by politicians in speeches, or by celebrities before sporting events, with jets flying over the field to thunderous applause? Are these authentic and sincere displays of support, or are they just political and social artifice?    

 Even just attempting to answer the question requires a suspension of belief in what we know to be real and authentic in life. If you want to play with it on your own, go ahead. I'll pass.

Roughly 1% of our population participates in the active 'military' defense of our nation. Can you, with a straight face, tell me that you believe we are, as we so proudly and smugly proclaim to the rest of the world,  a representative democracy -- a community of people who share the hard work of being a nation equally? 

I'll pass again on that debate.  So rather than discuss it,  I'd like to extend a special invitation to people serving us in our military (and their families and friends) to share their 'odysseys' -- their stories, thoughts, and anything else they like on this page.  I, in turn. will do my best  to provide links to resources and information  related to your needs, as well as disseminate your stories as far and wide as I possibly can. 

In 2009 I was diagnosed with a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). No, it was not due to service in the military. Sometimes the domestic American landscape can feel like a battlefield. It did for me. In my book, An Odyssey in the Great American Safety Net, I describe in candid and graphic detail how I dealt with the condition and my recovery. It was therapeutic, if not life-saving, for me to write about my experience. Therefore, I'm not going to rehash that experience here. (My book is available as an e-book on Amazon; and if there are any service persons who cannot afford to buy the book, contact me directly and I will send you a free copy of my original manuscript.)

But mostly I, we, want you to tell us your stories. Please tell us as honestly and as graphically as you want to what it is like to be stationed overseas in a foreign land; how it feels to enter combat; and how, if it did, did the experience change your life or your perspective on life.  We truly, sincerely, want to know.  ( No jets just flew over my apartment wasting thousands of dollars of fuel.)

Allow us to honor you by listening; let us support you by providing information about other supportive groups and organizations. And lastly, let us feel you; let us in so we can know you better like a brother or sister.

Thank you.


  1. Replies
    1. Great post, James. I'd like to know the truth, the truth media keeps from us.
      Renee Espositp