Well, in order to stop focusing on all the things in my unit that I have no influence to change, I’m starting a new book. Actually, I’d written the first few pages about a week ago when I had the start of the idea that will eventually form into the new project but I threw most of that out as it wasn’t quite right.
What’s really interesting about this book is the research that’s going into it. I have to learn a ton about how the mind works and the different aspects of PTSD other than nightmares.
And I’ve chosen to make this book a comparison between the Iraq war and Vietnam. I find it amazing that when I talk to Vietnam vets, their stories are remarkably similar regarding the anti war sentiment. I spoke with an active duty major today whose father was in Vietnam and he made an interesting discovery.
He said that soldiers are still regarded with contempt. He was very blunt when he said that people pay lip service to the ‘soldier as hero’ but when it comes right down to it, soldiers will still be condemned for the actions they are expected to in order to come back home.
His thoughts and the thoughts of other Vet’s who’ve already talked with me really got me thinking about our society. About what’s really important. My mom told me that during Nam, the nightly news was about the body count. Every night was the latest news from Nam. A retired Air Force colonel told me that where she was in Vietnam that the protests were surreal and far away from the realities of the war. Different people, different places and different perspectives.
I find it interesting that an active duty officer would say that the people who praise the soldiers aren’t really supportive. I find it interesting that some civilians who support the troops would never support their children entering into the military. And most interesting is the perception that if you can’t find anything else to do, join the military. Its only an option for people who have no other way out. Hell, that’s how I got here and it was the best decision I ever made.
So learning about my parent’s generation and my parent’s war is very interesting so far. The soundtrack to my WIP is all classic rock, despite working on a contemporary novel. We’ll see where it goes.
I just hope that the people who’ve helped me so far and continue to offer guidance will enjoy the final product.