So where are these stories now? Are they retold with any accuracy? Do they change as times moves forward and the stories move farther and farther away in time? How can the family keep his treasured stories for future generations? By writing them down.
I have been to several entrepreneurship conferences and workshops geared toward the military population. As I take advantage of this situation to find out how to make Veteran Stories a viable service for the population I love, spouses and veterans alike, I keep hearing how great my idea is and have even won a few awards for my idea. The problem is when I ask the veterans when they want to start working with me, some say they will never tell their story. They will never let the world know what they saw because they don’t ever need to know that such evil exists in the world. One mentor told me he burned the journal he had been keeping halfway through a deployment. Almost always, however, their next sentence is that they wished they had their grandpa’s journal or that their wife would love to hire me to preserve their military journey.
So I say this. Put your money where your mouth is. Work with me and I’ll help you preserve your stories of your time in the military for your family and those that come after you. We can leave out the really bad parts. I don’t care. It’s your book. All I ask is that you tell me your story and let me put it in a paperback book you can pass down through the generations. You don’t even have to read it, just send me your journals or set up a few interviews with me so I can get it down on paper for you. I promise you won’t regret it and your family with thank you for honoring them by telling them what happened and how you felt as a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, Marine or Coastie.
When it’s your turn to leave the earth, you can go knowing your legacy lives on even if it is only for the family that loves you. I promise. You don’t even have to read it.
Rosemary O’Brien is the owner of Veteran Stories, a service of Pocket Parks Publishing. As the wife of a retired Naval officer and a published author, she finds meaning and value in the stories people tell about their lives, military or civilian. Contact her at rosie@VeteranStories.biz to tell your story and preserve it for your family. You will not only preserve your story, but you will provide work to a military spouse and by association all of the veterans and spouses she hires through her company.