I can say that now, right? Because my book is out there in the world on shelves, and people are buying it. Based on the comments sent my way on Twitter and Facebook, you, my dear Readers, are reading IF I LIE. Your tweets and wall posts mean the world to me. I’ve cried more than once in the last week.
More than anything, I find myself grateful. So very, very grateful for everything that I have and the path that my life has taken this last year. So today I take a moment to enjoy what I’ve accomplished. And I also pause to remember what inspired me to write this book.
IF I LIE was in part inspired by people I know. I have an uncle and an honorary uncle who fought in Vietnam. One of those uncles returned home a changed man, and I grew up understanding that there is a deep cost to war, a very human cost. When I was doing my research, I found myself most touched and haunted by the stories the soldiers had to tell about their time at war. I interviewed Marines and found myself humbled when they were so grateful that someone was interested in what they had to say. Through Youtube and the Veterans History Project, I watched hours of interviews and footage of these men and women sharing their experiences about wartime and what it was like to return home. Many of these soldiers, approximately 400,000*, are suffering from PTSD as they merge their old lives with the traumatic things they’ve lived through. I have deep admiration for them.
One non-profit organization, the Wounded Warrior Project, has a mission “to honor and empower wounded warriors.” They have created programs to give back and take care of our “military service members who incurred service-connected wounds, injuries, or illnesses on or after September 11, 2001.” You can learn more about them and how to help here. This organization has also created a way for you to give thanks to a Wounded Warrior. Using their free Facebook app, you can send a thank you card to a Wounded Warrior to be distributed at one of their events. It takes just minutes to do.
So today, as I celebrate a milestone, I want to remember why I wrote this book. And I hope you will join me in sending a note of gratitude for the service and sacrifice these men and women have done for us. Please know that I am in no way affiliated with this group, but I appreciate their work.
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Now, if you live in the Bay area, please join me this evening for my launch party. Details are here. There will be cake pops, a candy bar, sweet tea, swag bags, prizes and more.
Thank you, Friends, for hanging in there with me!
*Source: Wounded Warrior Project, numbers compiled as of July 1, 2012