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I am from Akron, Ohio. Our local town newspaper is the Akron Beacon Journal. I am proud to say they accepted my book for review. What they shared about my book was shocking because no where was spirituality shared. This allowed the raw and real realities of my life to be shared. I appreciate the Akron Beacon journal for sharing what the world the truth about the ugliness of being victimized early in life. PTSD is a reality that does not have to be a life-sentence. I am a living witness, life can and will be grand when you understand your total being. Soldier With A Backpack Living And Dying Simultaneously is a tool to enlightenment when you are ready.

‘Soldier with a Backpack’

Linda Diane Wattley didn’t see armed conflict when she served in the U.S. Army after graduating from South High School, but she had seen enough in her life before her enlistment to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. She tells her story in Soldier with a Backpack: Living and Dying Simultaneously.

Wattley recalls being about 4 years old the first time her father raped her. Her parents got into physical battles, and her father took up with a woman who also fought with him, once pouring boiling water on him. Wattley and her brothers were shoved back and forth between the two women; her mother had turned to drinking. There were two devastating deaths in a brief time.

Wattley turned to sex and marijuana while in the Army, which she called a “permanent party.” She was dating a man who she describes as controlling and aggressive; another man who had been friendly with her said “You know you don’t have to take that.” She took his counsel and left her boyfriend, later marrying the better man. They had a happy marriage and two sons, but the heartache was not over.

She began researching PTSD after her son’s return from two tours in Iraq. Despite her father’s actions, she says “our relationship was solid;” she shows forgiveness for other family members who have broken her trust and injured her.

Soldier with a Backpack (161 pages, softcover) costs $15 from online retailers

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