Steve Sparks, local author and Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Navy, will give a free talk on “Surviving and Thriving for Families Challenged with PTSD,” as part of the Celebration of Honor weekend. Sparks casual, informative discussion will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Conference Room at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, at 540 N.E. Highway 101.
Sparks is the author of “Reconciliation: A Son’s Story,” which details his military family’s experience with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its painful symptoms. His father, also a U.S. Navy veteran, served in extended combat duty throughout World War II and was later deployed in the Korean War. When Steve and his siblings were growing up, in the 1950s and 60s, there was little to no understanding of PTSD, or strategies for dealing with its painful symptoms.
Sparks went on to serve in the U.S. Navy as a radioman, and then spent 35 years as an information technology sales and marketing executive. Now retired in Depoe Bay, he is married to his “soul mate” Judy, and has three daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He serves on the board of the Kids Zone of Depoe Bay.
In 2011, he published “Reconciliation: A Son’s Story,” which is a combination of memoir and exploration of his father’s generation, its sacrifice and suffering, and the legacy their wartime service left behind. Sparks also continues his work through his blog (www.livingwithptsd-sparkles.blogspot.com)
At the Sept. 21 event, Sparks will talk about the families of active duty military, veterans and first responders, and all those who live and cope with PTSD. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate, as time permits.
Refreshments will be provided, courtesy of the Lincoln City Cultural Center. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for Sparks’ favorite charity, Kids Zone of Depoe Bay. Copies of “Reconciliation: A Son’s Story” will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds also going to Kids Zone.
Sparks talk is one of the events in the 10th annual Celebration of Honor, Sept. 19-22 at Chinook Winds Casino Resort and other locations throughout Lincoln City. Veterans and those who love them are invited to tour the Field of 1,000 Flags or see the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall, both at Chinook Winds.
Veterans will get special treatment at The Bijou Theatre, and there will be a special exhibit at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum. Other activities include two Oregon Veterans Medal ceremonies, and a free buffet meal at the Siletz Bay Buffet.
For a full schedule of events, visit http://www.chinookwindscasino.com/2013-celebration-of-honor.html.