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After my father died in May 2009, I began to jot down some notes for my two kids. They knew my father – sort of. Their relationship with him was not very close at all. They viewed him as a strange fellow, and had a hard time understanding some of his personality quirks. So, they withdrew from him.
So, 1 – 2 pages turned into 5 pages. Then, 10 pages. Then, I really started delving into my father’s past – his high school football career days. His military service. His medical records. His life. A friend suggested that I just write a book. So, I did.
I researched his entire life. I researched World War II. I researched the Battle of Okinawa. I researched combat and combat-related PTSD. I read book after book on the war in the Pacific during World War II. I read the DSM Manual (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and several books on psychiatry.
I became a “homemade expert.” I got up to speed on my dad, quickly.
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It's good to talk.