When I listened…

to combat heroes tell their stories for “When Heaven Visits,” one thing became readily apparent… many heroes are still hurting, some in silence, others by the situation. Knowing they were sharing with a fellow veteran seemed to build trust and allowed them the freedom to open up. Several heroes gave me their stories by video connection on the cell phone. Whether face to face or electronically connected, I could “feel” the emotions of combat as they shared.

Some talked fast, their voices reflecting the horrors of combat as they shared. Others grew silent and somber when discussing what they had experienced. One hero became nauseous while sharing. When asked “do we need to stop”, he quickly replied, “no, I must tell you this.” I gained an appreciation for the care these heroes are receiving while wondering, “can I do more to help them?”

Carlos Showalter – 18 year old Marine When Heaven Visits– “Saipan” and “Iwo Jima”. Rest in Peace, 2020.