Our servicemen have continually put their lives on the line to serve our country, yet the post-war negative effects on our servicemen is a topic that is seldom covered. Trafford Publishing author Jenny La Sala sheds some light on the disturbing reality of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which she witnessed first-hand…
My father, David Clinton Tharp was a decorated 101st Airborne paratrooper during WWII. Although he survived the battles of Normandy, Carentan, Holland and the Battle of the Bulge, combat came with both a physical and mental price.
In 1999 my father passed away and left behind my most valued keepsake in his memory, a stack of letters he sent home to my mother between 1943-1945.
My father wrote over 300 letters during WWII to maintain some kind of connection and link to keep his sanity. I had seen them as a young girl, but I never got past the opening “hello darling or sweetheart”, without giggling and placing them back in a drawer.
Reading them as an adult, I was overwhelmed at the story his writing told and decided to publish the letters as a keepsake for my children and grandchildren whose only way of connecting with their grandfather would be through his letters.
His writing offered incredible insight into the young hero who bravely honored his country. The letters were filled with testaments of love for his future wife (my mother) and spoke of his desire to start a family. They exposed a sense of pride, loyalty and patriotism that resulted from serving his country.
The letters also contained something that I was not ready for….
Unblocking the memories and stories of Dad recalling frozen dead soldiers stacked up like cored wood or seeing friends vaporize into thin air were devastating.
However, the letters offered insight into some of my father’s pre and post war behavior. One can actually read and feel the transitioning behavior throughout his letters.
To find out the hardship our war heroes endure after their days in the service, stay tuned for part two of Trafford publishing author Jenny La Sala’s two-part series. You can also check out La Sala’s recent television interview on her book Comes a Soldier’s Whisper here.