More about The New Waiver - Veterans
With my current fundraising venture centering on 22KILL and military veterans, one might ask how it relates to a YA trilogy.
Without giving away the entire story, what I can say is throughout my plot, many current world issues come to light through the lives and experiences of my characters. Book one alone illustrates abuse, neglect, domestic violence, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, and suicide, but this is merely the beginning. Some issues specific to veterans are also touched on in book one. For example, veteran suicide is blatantly mentioned in the passage below:
“Remember when I told you I felt like I had nothing left to live for?” He glances at me. I see pain behind his eyes that I’ve never seen before, as if deep down something haunts him that he’s never come to terms with. “One night, I held a loaded gun to my head.”
I gulp back the chilling regret, now wishing I never asked.
He scratches his forehead. “Something . . . well, God, though I didn’t realize it at the time, told me to open the Bible in my pocket one last time before I pulled the trigger. It wasn’t because I was religious or looking for some level of peace with God. I just wanted to see my father’s picture that I had tucked between the pages one last time before I died.” His blue eyes glisten in the dim light, more than they ever have. Tears? Regardless, his voice remains strong and composed. “Instead of seeing his picture, I focused for the first time on the page behind it. Those were the words I saw.”
Of the three books in the trilogy, the second, Between two Worlds, delves deep into the effects of combat PTSD. I expect some will not wish to read in such depth on this topic as it can be quite heavy at times. Still, I've chosen as an author to not worry about what people want to hear, but rather what they need to hear. Trauma is real, and our at-risk youth and military vets often face the worst of it. My message isn't to promote or bash one treatment plan over another. My message is simple: before any method of treatment will begin to effectively work for an individual struggling with PTSD, that individual must be willing to face the trauma. Everything else will merely place a large bandage over an infected wound. This is why I also focus on relationships and trust among characters. To openly share about a traumatic event, one must trust the person they are confiding in.
My ultimate hope in this project is to inspire those who read it to think outside the box and realize many times the best way we can help those who have experienced trauma is through trust and a willingness to listen without casting judgment or offering opinions. Even if I inspire one person to think outside the box and reach out to others through meaningful trustworthy relationships I've accomplished my mission.