Most of the time, the content of my blog posts reflect subjects found in my fiction: family issues, romantic themes, mysterious elements, etc. Every now and then, however, I share a post regarding a conference I attended, a book I read recently, or something more writing specific.
Today’s post is kind of a combination. Part “here’s info about a speech I heard” and part “I’ve read books by this author and I highly recommend her.”
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a local speaking engagement given by Pamela Foster at the Farmington Public Library. If you ever have the opportunity to listen to Pamela speak on any topic, I encourage you to do so. She is a wonderful presenter. This particular talk was on PTSD in our combat veterans.
I do not live with a combat veteran. I’m proud to say my father and father-in-law served in the US Navy, and my niece currently serves. But has anyone under my roof faced the horrors of war and returned to live with me, trying to make the transition from a life of constant vigilance, adrenaline, and fear to one where we expect them to be relaxed, adjusted, and happy? No. I can’t say that I’ve lived through that.
That doesn’t excuse me from understanding the situation of returning combat veterans. Nor does it excuse anyone else.
I thought I understood the concept of PTSD. I thought I got that it affected the family as well as the person dealing with it. I didn’t truly understand the number of symptoms, how they could manifest, and the degree to which they impacted daily life, until I listened to Pamela talk about her life with Jack.
I learned a lot about the condition, the treatments available to veterans, and even about PTSD service dogs. (The stories Pamela tells about Chesty—Jack’s service dog—are so entertaining. I recommend her talks and her essays for those alone.) This talk could have been a lecture, a sermon, a clinical discussion. Instead, it was warm, touching, funny, informative… I laughed and I cried, and I left with more knowledge of PTSD and with resources where people go to get help—or possibly offer it. Everyone needs this knowledge. Everyone.
Pamela Foster has published novels as well as non-fiction, many of which deal with PTSD. Her voice is expressive and inspirational, really unparalleled in today’s market. I highly recommend you check out her work. Click here to visit her Wounded Warrior Wife website, here to visit her speaker and author page, and here to visit her Amazon page.
And Pamela (and Jack), if you happen to read this… thank you.