Kimann Schultz, Indianapolis, Indiana
I as a marine mom had to grapple with nuanced and conflicting loyalties as regarded patriotism, war and peace, fight and survival, passivity and loss.
Kurt Vonnegut did what he had to do as duty-bound serviceman. He later dealt with the emotional aftermath not through violent deeds paid forward but via the repeated cutting and healing of words, words and more words. Vonnegut as writer showed me I could, in effect, embrace the dichotomy of peace-mongering citizen and tough-as-nails loyalty to a son in arms, and that I too could use the sublime gift of language to explore, vent and share my own experience.
Vonnegut, a son who served, inspired me to more fully embrace my duty to my son – honorably discharged after serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, still seeking his post-service life path – while yet speaking out against the complex and costly societal abyss that is war.
Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. But you came home. And then you wrote about it. My son came home too. I will write about that.