Why is Dad So Mad?
by Seth Kastle
Company First Sergeant (retired)
US Army Reserve

kastleThe children’s issues picture book Why Is Dad So Mad? is a story for children in military families whose father battles with combat related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After a decade fighting wars on two fronts, tens of thousands of service members are coming home having trouble adjusting to civilian life; this includes struggling as parents.

Why Is Dad So Mad? Is a narrative story told from a family’s point of view (mother and children) of a service member who struggles with PTSD and its symptoms. Many service members deal with anger, forgetfulness, sleepless nights, and nightmares.This book explains these and how they affect Dad. The moral of the story is that even though Dad gets angry and yells, he still loves his family more than anything.

About the Author: Through my 16 years in the Army Reserve I served in many capacities culminating in my role as a Company First Sergeant.  I was deployed in January 2002 to Qatar, and then to Afghanistan for a total of eight months.  I was then deployed to Iraq in January 2003 until April 2004.  I have been married for nearly ten years now to my wonderful wife Julia, and we have two daughters; Raegan and Kennedy.  The topic of dealing with PTSD as a parent is something that is very close to my heart.  I have struggled with PTSD for ten years now, my daughters are young so who I am now is all they know.  I wrote the book Why is Dad So Mad? to try to help them understand why I am the way I am now.  This is not who I used to be, but it is who I am now; this is reality.  More than anything I want my daughters as well as the children of other services members to know that no matter what we, as fathers love them more than anything.  Things may not always be picture perfect , but as parents we will always be there for our kids. You may contact Seth through his website.

Called to Serve

by Kevin Coffey
Chicago Fire Department Firefighter (retired)

Kevin Coffey

How did you become a member of the fire service? The circumstances surrounding any one of us and how we found ourselves on our particular fire department are infinite. Perhaps firefighting was in your family, or perhaps you just had a fascination with the lights and sirens of passing fire trucks since you were a child. Maybe it was presented as an option at a high school career fair. It might be that you witnessed the towers fall on 9-11 and you just knew that the fire service was your destiny. And probably common to us all was a desire to help people in their times of emergency need. Continue reading “Called to Serve”

Dealing With Tragic Events

by Chaplain Bruce Lacillade, M.Div.

Bruce_Lacillade_150_150We have recently experienced a seemingly large number of tragic events in the U.S. These include, but are not limited to, wild fires, the Oklahoma tornadoes, rail transportation accidents, the Boston Marathon bombings, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Super-storm Sandy, and hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and just recently the Colorado floods, and the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington.

These events are devastating, not only to individuals and entire communities, but also the society as a whole. Such events are difficult to process and challenge our resiliency, both as individuals and as a people. However, let us remember that we have overcome past tragedies, and with faith, optimism and action, we will overcome our present tragedies. Continue reading “Dealing With Tragic Events”

A Prayer for Emergency Responders

by Chaplain Skip Straus
Emergency Ministries

Lord GOD,
We thank You for allowing us the privilege of living in a nation where we can worship You openly…. where we can stand up as individuals and even pray collectively… for our nation, for our leaders and for our people.

And, Heavenly Father, today I would like to offer up to You a special prayer – a prayer of protection for the men and women serving on the front lines of our city streets, LORD… the EMTs, the Paramedics, the Firefighters, the police officers, the deputy sheriffs, even the folks in the dispatch centers and the 9-1-1 call rooms… protect them from all harm, GOD! Continue reading “A Prayer for Emergency Responders”

Needless Loss

by Chaplain Ron Metts
Indian Field Fire Department

As firefighters, we tend to get numb to death and pain around us. We don’t show when something hurts or when we grieve. This is a hard fact for most people to understand, but anyone who has been a firefighter for more than a few months can well understand, and often see our grief, no matter how hard we try to hide it.

More often than not, we truly don’t feel much grief when it is a “civilian”. Especially when the civilian died at an age and in such a way that is unremarkable. We will tend to what needs to be done and rarely give more than a second thought to those they leave behind. Continue reading “Needless Loss”