Thursday, June 18, 2009

Service, Fort Lewis and Fathers

I signed last Saturday at the Fort Lewis PX. In May I had appeared at the base to give away free copies of Wrongful Death on Armed Forces day. Simon and Schuster also provided two organizations with free copies of the novel to be sent to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Being on base is always a moving experience. It is a world within a world, one that most civilians, myself included, don't fully understand. For anyone who wants to criticize the military, I would invite you to visit one of the military bases and talk to the men and women who are deploying to Iraq, and now to Afghanistan again. Talk to their families. It is a sobering experience. I spoke to one woman from Germany who met and married her husband while he was stationed there. The week before he had deployed to Afghanistan. She was a lovely woman, happy and very interested in the book. I was surprised to learn that her husband would be gone for a year and even more surprised when she returned to introduce me to her three children, the oldest just 12.

I lost my father last Father's Day, June 15. This one year has felt like ten. I can only imagine it must feel the same way for so many of these military families, with one very significant difference. I have achieved peace knowing my father is not coming home. These families go to bed every night wondering if their father, or mother for that matter, will be coming home. It is a sobering thought for all of us.

God bless those soldiers and their families who are making the sacrifice every day. Maybe wars are political. But the soldiers aren't. They're mothers and fathers and wives and husbands just like all of us.

May they all come home safe.


Suma Subramaniam said...

my heart goes to them. They deserve our support regardless of why the men and women are deployed - and if books can make their deployment easier, then all the better. Thanks for sharing this.
- Suma.

Unknown said...

Wrongful Death is a fine read in Advance Reader's Edition. Sorry to learn of your loss of pets; my family is struggling now with a 12 year old yellow lab and an 18 year old cat of mixed origins. Death cannot be far away, which is sad, but not knowing when the days of death will come enables starting each day hope. you demonstrate a fine appreciation of law and lawyers. Alas, you are way off base ( no pun intended) as to how life insurance does not pay in suicides Most states require, and most life insurers pay, for suicide after 2 years of policy issuance. Combination of suicide exclusion language and non contestability after 2 years. But this does not take away from the marvels of your writing.Though I am a retired lawyer and cannot give you, nor would you want, all the citations. Google; "suicide exclusion life insurance "--the first 20 pages of google pages are enough; the 9000 hits astonish!! Will follow your writings faithfully in the future. It would be great to hear more about you. Peter G