On Veterans day I thank all of our veterans and think of their families as well. My father was a veteran of WW2 who joined the army after his brother, Gerald, was killed in the war. His experience had a huge influence on his life and on ours as his family. We heard so many stories, so many memories, and discussions about war and wartime, and the eternal hope for peace. Two of my characters in Brindle 24 are veterans and were based on my memories of my father, Officer Joe and David, both veterans with PTSD. Their friendship grows from that shared past, and was drawn from my father’s personality.
In Brindle 24, the veterans are dealing with a small town environmental emergency. The area is much like the area where I grew up in Greenville, NY, and the struggles are very personal. The veteran David is the father of a teenage girl who is trying to make sense out of the changes on their property and the surrounding hills after fracking comes. He is a strong but tragic character, an anchor in the story. The veteran Officer Joe is a main character who witnesses the changes fracking brings, and the crimes that occur as reactions. His main role is trying to protect the families from the devastation the gas drilling brings.
My father’s time in Japan at the end of the war shaped him in many ways. He remembered walking through the bombed out areas after the atom bombing, and helping bring food to people who survived. He told us stories of his experience whenever he had a break from working out in his garage and the tales became part of my childhood. The PTSD was hard for me to understand as a child, but now it all makes sense. Sudden noises or loud sounds would startle him, and he had no tolerance for fireworks or interest in parades. His memories put the remainder of his life into perspective of being a survivor of WW2.