Family Rich with Veterans
by Paty Jager
November 8, 2022
The men and women who give up civilian life to join the military are people to be proud of. They are being unselfish in giving their time, and in some cases their lives, so the rest of us may retain our freedoms.
I always purchase poppies Memorial Weekend to help out veterans and to recognize those who lost their lives in war. And during Veteran’s Day, I remember my dad and uncle who were in the Korean War. They both came back and led long lives. We were lucky. My brother was in the Coast Guard and a cousin joined the Army. We have friends who were in the military. Our son joined the Air Force, our son-in-law was National Guard, and another son-in-law was in the Coast Guard. And now, we have a granddaughter in the Air Force and a grandson talking about joining when he graduates high school.
The military is a good way to get a skill while being paid. It’s even better if you can be in the military when there isn’t a war going on. Though those that go to battle for our freedoms receive my utmost respect. It takes a lot to push forward when bullets are coming at you and each step could be your last if you step on an underground bomb.
Through my years as a writer, before Covid, I belonged to a group of authors who purchased personal toiletries for family members staying at Fisher House- a home for families of veterans doing rehab from injuries they received in war. It was fun to purchase items I saw that might be helpful. Like toothbrushes, toothpaste, notecards, pens, coloring books for children, and puzzles. We also donated books and bags. I liked the idea I was helping someone through a tough time. That’s more my kind of helping than running into danger.
Because I feel veterans are a huge number of the population, yet, are not talked about enough, I made the main character of my newest murder mystery a veteran, but also a female disabled veteran. I wanted to show readers that veterans are all around and that some may not show scars on the outside and some may. I will slowly bring in a couple more veterans as secondary characters to give a more rounded viewpoint, than that of someone who came home discharged with a disability.
Dela Alvaro, the main character in my Spotted Pony Casino Mystery series, has a chip on her shoulder. Well, maybe a couple of chips. She is slowly knocking them off as she reenters her life at the Umatilla Reservation where she grew up. But while others may not see her disability, she is fully aware of it every waking moment and has to learn to deal with it and move on. She also has to learn to live with the fact she is alive and some of her fellow comrades didn’t come home. Not to mention the trauma that sent her into the military.
We owe a lot to the veterans of all wars, not just recent ones. If not for their bravery and willingness to uphold freedoms, we wouldn’t have the choices and way of life we have today.
Thank you, Veterans!
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story. Learn more about her at her website.