The Man I Didn’t Know

Dr. Art Schmitt (CDR USN Ret.)
Marie LeDuc
(Wife of a Seawolf Door gunner)
The Stories of Wives and Families of Veterans Who Suffer from PTSD.

This book written by Dr. Schmitt, a Psychologist who is in treatment for PTSD Co-Author, Marie LeDuc who has counseled numerous wives and families of Veterans.

The book discusses the struggle of wives and families of Veterans who fought in Vietnam and suffer from PTSD.

A Foreword …

This book should be required reading for all spouses of war veterans. The wives of the Vietnam War indeed have compelling stories to tell and a treasure of wisdom to impart to the next generation of combat wives. So much has been learned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its toxic effect on family life and particularly marital life. In reading these stories you will see a continuous thread binding these women together. We have already seen statistics on how many marriages are being torn apart today when soldiers come home from war. The veteran is not the same person he was when he went to war, and yet, unsuspectingly, the wife expects to see the same man she sent off. Not so. Let me reiterate that I believe this book should be required reading for all combat wives. I use the term “combat wives” to imply that once the joy of the homecoming subsides, a new war may ensue – the war to reconnect, reestablish and rebuild the marriage through loving patience, listening ears, sharpened insights and open dialogue – the ultimate battle to save the marriage. The wives in this book have their own battle scars and war wounds and have loved enough and believed enough to be the glue that held their marriages together. These women deserve the Purple Hearts, the Bronze Stars, and the commendation medals and yet all they really want is their husband’s love, friendship and companionship.

Father Philip G. Salois, M.S.National Chaplain, Vietnam Veterans of America

Founder, National Conference of Viet Nam Veteran Ministers

The Father Who Wasn’t There
Melody Schmitt Grell

The ship would come in. The band would play. He would bring gifts.

A new toy, a doll, a stuffed animal. Not what I wanted or needed.

He wouldn’t be home for long. I never really knew him.

I became lost. Trouble was my middle name. Looked for love in all the wrong places.

Couldn’t find my way. No one to guide me.

It’s been hard not having a Dad. Regrets are many.

But there is still time to get to know my Dad.

So far I have learned. my Dad is like most parents, you do the best you can

with what you have.

My Dad is a fighter, not in the war but in life. He doesn’t give up.

He sacrificed a lot to fight for others, so it is only fair that I understand

and share him with the war that took him away for so long.

He is back now and I am proud of who he is as a person.

Yes it has been painful. It has caused tremendous grief in my life.

But I wouldn’t change a thing because my Dad saved a lot of lives in the war.

But the best part is, my Dad survived A War With No Name.

A Shadow of a Man
Julie Smith Koos

There are times

When I know him

I see the pain in your eyes

There is a presence

In your style

Of a past untouched

The paths that you follow

Are but shadows of a man

No feelings

No thoughts

No body

No soul

Only darkness

Darkness in your step

Heavy penetration

On soft soil

Melting deeper into shadows

That are going nowhere

Walking on shadows

Of a man you don’t know