Every story matters. Simple enough, right? In 2004, I was effectively told my story didn’t matter. His name was Corporal Harry Klein and for reasons unbeknownst to me when the opportunity came for me to deploy to Iraq, he told me in no uncertain terms to “Not write a book about it.” He had not shared his combat experiences with me but promptly decided it was his right to tell me how to effectively live my life.
Up until that point, and still today, I do no feel the overwhelming urge to write a book about my experiences. My storytelling encompasses a large three ring binder filled with three years’ worth of notes shared on the social media sites, MySpace and Facebook, and two handwritten journals, which I’ve shared mostly with close friends and family. Do I want a published book about my deployments? Not really.
I am happy enough exploring my creative t-shirt story telling idea. Because I still find myself to be a visual artist rather than a writer, that avenue serves my social purpose better.
To Corporal Klein, I am not writing a book about my experiences but not because you told me not to do so. Instead, I am building an empowerment community for female veterans, which is so vastly better.
Semper Fidelis, everyone.