by Kristin Daniels
As we come upon the Fourth of July weekend, I’d like to take a moment to honor those who fight for and serve our country, and to offer every one of them a huge THANK YOU!
Military personnel have always intrigued me. I've meet someone in passing—both men and women alike--only later to find out they’ve served our country in some capacity. And I always think to myself, “Man, what courage. What dedication.”
Then, the questions start. I can’t help myself—just ask my father-in-law (Hey there, Pops!)—I want to know everything. Some soldiers are more willing to talk than others, and I understand that. In serving our country, people see or do things they just don’t want to relive. I completely respect that.
I recently met a young man, home from Iraq for maybe a year or so. So personable, so willing to share. By this time I had already written Lily’s War and it was due to be released soon. But this soldier’s stories of mental anguish and what he faced once he came home really affected me. In a different context, he could’ve been my soldier/hero.
I have to admit, I started Lily’s War on a whim. It was going to be a hot little story. You know, just a quick, sexy romp starring a returning vet. But then my hero changed. I wasn’t too far into the story before Eric got angry. Really, really angry.
And who could blame him? Even though I never served in the military, I put myself in what I pictured to be Eric’s combat boots. And honestly, the result surprised me. He was overwhelmed and in pain, but loved my heroine with all his heart.
Quite a lot for a guy to deal with.
But Eric shined. He pulled no punches, and in the end he stayed true to himself. Yes, the pain was still there, but so was the support. And beyond anything else, that’s what our military men and women deserve. Our support. Our understanding.
Here’s to them. And now that I think about it, thank you really isn’t enough.