Short story gives new respect for country’s veterans

I got something accomplished today, and I’m kind of proud of it.

I submitted a new short story I wrote, “Deadwood Soldier,” to the first-ever Nashville Reads Short Story Contest. It’s a short 1,200 words about a nontraditional family consisting of a young girl, her aunt and uncle, and her father, who has just returned home from the war in Afghanistan and is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

In writing the story, I did some initial research on the web as to the symptoms, causes and treatments for PTSD. The research included reading numerous accounts from military veterans of the traumas of war they endured and how that trauma has affected them since their return home. Their real-life stories are, quite frankly, among the most haunting and moving stories you will ever read. You cannot help but feel a newfound respect for these veterans and what they went through to make our lives safe and secure.

My short story was not an effort to simply regurgitate their stories in a fictional format, but to focus in on the family, particularly the daughter in my story. I hope that it captures some semblance of how this sad condition affects not only the veteran but his family as well. We’ll see.