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Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

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Army

A Bereft Duffle – Flash Fiction

My son returned from the war in person, but his mind never did. It took me years to understand why he refused to take off that dirty field jacket. I would beg him not to wear it. I even hid it once when he was in the shower and I don’t want to tell you the fight we had before I gave it back and he stormed out of the house to walk the streets, his mind encumbered with the scenes of war. The day I found him hanging, the coat was folded neatly on his full duffle bag.

In response to Charli Mills July 26, 2018, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about what happens next to a stranded suitcase. Go where the prompt leads you, but consider the different perspectives you can take to tell the tale.

July 26: Flash Fiction Challenge

Happy Birthday to Our Army

Formed from amateur troops of volunteer soldiers defending colonies against British tyranny, the oldest military force in the United States began before the U.S. formerly existed. Their forces consisted of mostly inexperienced militiamen commanded by independent colonial armies. According to battlefields.org, there were never more than 48,000 Continental soldiers at one time. Today, the United States Army consists of over one million active duty service members and an additional 800,000 National Guard and Reserves members. The enduring history of the U.S. Army means they have been integral to many of the United State’s military, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts.  Continue reading “Happy Birthday to Our Army”

Stealing From Texas

Women’s Veterans Day June 2018-Texas

The National Association of American Veterans (NAAV) Inc., would like to announce a historic event taking place in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. This event is intended to “recognize women veterans of Texas.”

I saw the above announcement on Facebook so I had to investigate. Now I want to know why this is only a day in Texas and not the whole country. I don’t think Texans will mind if I showcase their day.

If you think about it, the nurses in the military for many, many years have been female. Women have also done other jobs and now we have female pilots, females on the ground in the front lines and female officers leading large groups of mixed sex soldiers. They have come to the front showing their capability and resourcefulness to get a hard job done. Following is a list of impressive females that have served the U.S. You can look up the link to read about them.

Seven Famous Women Veterans

  • Bea Arthur.
  • Army Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody.
  • Grace Murray Hopper.
  • Eileen Collins.
  • Harriet Tubman.
  • Elsie S. Ott.
  • Sarah Emma Edmonds.
military.com/veterans-day/famous-women-veterans.html
I have a lady friend that served during the Korean War. At that time in the U. S. ladies that went into the military were said to be either lesbian or whores. To this day my friend doesn’t openly admit she volunteered to serve her country because the stigma has stayed with her. I hope this day helps to alleviate that.
In my book anyone that serves their country (whichever one that might be) deserves special recognition as well as their families that support them on the home front. Nationalism is important to me. I hope it is to you to.

 

 

 

PTSD Personified – Flash Fiction

January 11: Flash Fiction Challenge

In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about wet ink. It can be artistic, writerly or something completely off-the-wall. Go where the prompt leads.

“Doc, my family feared I would die shortly after the ink was dry on my enlistment papers. Now I’ve made it back home without a visible wound they want me to tell them what my days were like: what I ate, what I saw, if I met any nice girls. They have no idea all the Army wanted from me was a body count. Having done what I was expected to do in order to survive, now I am dead inside. I’m afraid to go to sleep at night because of the nightmares and ashamed I made it home.”

Day of the Deployed and the Family too

National Day of the Deployed honors all of the brave men and woman who have been deployed, are sacrificing, or have sacrificed their lives to defend our country. The day also acknowledges their families who are separated from them during deployment and the sacrifices they make in order for their family members to serve our country.

WOW! A military recognition day that also honors the family left at home.  I’ve been in that position and it isn’t easy!  You function as a single parent the best you can (and get used to being in charge) then your spouse returns home, and thinks he is in charge.  It’s always an adjustment to relearn how to share the responsibilities of the family and household.  Today, it’s almost as common to have the Mom gone instead of the Dad.  I would guess that’s even more difficult if the separation is for a long time.

When my nephew was deployed during Dessert Storm, I sent him the Sunday comics each week.  I got more than one letter of thanks, and it is still mentioned at the holiday dinner table.  He laughs, “If I had been a drinking man, I would have charged rent on them.  As it was, there became a pecking order of who got to read them when I was finished.  They got passed along until they were tattered.”  Those funny papers were a touch of American life and home for the guys deployed.

I recently attended a church service where a young man was recognized before being deployed to Iraq the following week.  He told us he would be back in a year, if all went well.  I hate to admit, when we said good-bye to Dillon, we were all thinking, I hope you do come back.  It made sending him off a little harder to do.

These days the deployed can communicate much easier with home via cell phones and Skype.  I thought it would make deployment easier on both sides, but a good friend, a Captain in the Army, told me it makes it more difficult for some, because the parent at home shares all the troubles (car won’t start, mother-in-law didn’t send a birthday card, child is acting out because they don’t understand where Dad/Mom is) and the person deployed can’t do anything from so far away except feel guilty for not being there. As I said, it isn’t easy.

If you know someone who is deployed, may I suggest you take the time to send them a card or stop by their house and ask the family if they need something done.  I promise, they will appreciate knowing someone recognizes the sacrifice they are making for the U.S.A.

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