Friday, October 9, 2015

Kathi Macias: A Way To Extend Christmas

Everyone's Story fondly welcomes back author Kathi Macias. Kathi is a woman and writer of passion when it comes to causes that strikes all of our hearts. I'm honored to host Kathi for the 3rd time on this blog, and hope that you're as excited as I am to have Kathi back! Please check out the excerpt of the novel that Kathi is also offering as a BookGiveaway, and her suggestions on how to help make this Christmas a good one for some very special people who deserve our thanks. Both Kathi and I look forward to hearing from you!






BookGiveaway:
Kathi is offering 1 copy of RETURN TO CHRISTMAS to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, October 16th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact Me form to privately send me your email address--the form is in the right-hand sidebar on the blog's main page, toward the bottom)


Prologue for RETURN TO CHRISTMAS:


Prologue
Return to Christmas
by
Kathi Macias

Prologue

            Sand. Why did there have to be so much sand? At times Chet Mason suspected it was in his food; other times he was certain of it.
            He glanced at his friend and fellow Marine, Todd Bishop, who stood less than fifty feet away. Their guard duty would end in less than an hour. Chet knew Todd would make a beeline for some chow; the guy was always hungry. After considering the very real possibility of sand in their food, however, Chet wasn’t so sure it was worth it. Besides, the lure of sleep was stronger. He’d been up for nearly thirty-six hours, and all he wanted now was some serious shut-eye.
            Todd must have felt Chet’s gaze, as he turned his head and offered a smile. “Hey, Sarge,” he teased, “don’t tell me we’ve been here so long that I’m starting to look good to you.”
            Chet chuckled. “Never happen, Bishop. Your ugly mug’s the reason they call us Jarheads.”
            Todd scarcely had time to shake his head and grin before a white-hot explosion rocked their world. The next thing Chet knew, he was face-down in the dirt, wondering if his ears had been blown off. He couldn’t hear a thing.







I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Kathi Macias

Home for Christmas. Isn’t that where we all want to be at that very special time of year? Yet there are thousands of men and women serving in our military who would consider it Christmas any time of year if they could just come back home.

Over the years, our support for our servicemen has run hot and cold, with our Vietnam vets receiving some of the worst treatment. But even today, when active military and veterans are applauded and appreciated, there are many who come home in body only—and often those bodies are damaged and changed forever. But the damage goes far beyond the physical.

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) has been around for as long as there have been wars (or other extremely stressful situations). Until fairly recently, however, it wasn’t officially recognized as a distinct disorder. Instead we referred to vets coping with PTSD symptoms as having “shell-shock” or “battle fatigue.” We assumed that, with time, the symptoms would disappear and the vets would move on with their lives. We have since learned that isn’t always the case.

Today, when many members of our military serve multiple deployments, often in war zones, it is highly likely that a great number of them will come home with emotional issues. Not all those issues are severe enough to qualify as PTSD, but these brave men and women may need resources beyond those provided for them by the VA (Veterans’ Association).


One of the simplest ways I’ve found to encourage returning military or veterans is to make a point to thank them for their service. This is especially helpful with Vietnam vets who, for the most part, did not receive warm welcomes or words of gratitude when they returned.

Another means of helping our military is to get involved with an organization such as the USO (United Services Organization). This long-standing group has a proven track record of helping our military, and they offer various ways to get involved in giving that help (http://www.uso.org/?_ga=1.193589284.869043754.1440018522). Many local churches and Christian organizations also provide numerous ways to assist our military. An excellent Christian organization that ministers to vets and active military personnel is “Operation Heal Our Patriots,” a part of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse ministries (http://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/about-operation-heal-our-patriots/). Some of these opportunities are as simple as writing letters to lonely soldiers on the other side of the world, or packing and sending a box of treats to let a few sailors know how much they are appreciated.

Then, of course, there are the veterans’ homes and hospitals around the country who would welcome a group or an individual to come and cheer up these men and women who gave so much to protect and defend our country and its unique freedoms. If there is a veterans’ home or hospital in your area, there will certainly be a church or organization already visiting there on a regular basis. If not, perhaps you’re the one God will use to initiate such a ministry.

None of these methods of helping our active military and veterans is difficult or overly time-consuming, and they can be tailored to meet your abilities. It could be as little as a couple of hours per month, but those few hours can mean more to a hurting soldier or sailor than we could ever imagine.

Christmas is nearly upon us. Wouldn’t this be the perfect time to reach out to our present or former military personnel and welcome them “home for Christmas”? And because we know the Christ of Christmas, we can extend that Christmas welcome all year long.

Kathi's previous guest appearances on Everyone's Story:

Helping To Deliver God's Cry Against Evil
The "Easy Writer" Who Writes Heart-Grabbing Stories

Kathi's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Everyone’s Story: Meet award-winning author Kathi Macias @alandkathi #BookGiveaway of new release (Tweet This)

Kathi Macias @alandkathi shares tips on how to help active #military & #vets this Christmas. (Tweet This)

Check out Kathi Macias’ @alandkathi newest novel, RETURN TO CHRISTMAS. #BookGiveaway. (Tweet This)

Authors' Bio:
Kathi Macias is an award-winning writer with more than 50 books to her credit. Her newest release, Return to Christmas, features a Marine who comes home from his second deployment with PTSD. The readers quickly discover that his wife and child are nearly as impacted by this disorder as is the Marine himself. Can his child’s friend, a three-year-old with his own bad memories, break through this man’s defensive wall to start the healing process?

Places to connect with Kathi:
Pinterest

*********************************************************************************
Please note:

--I have a title change for my novel coming soon from Elk Lake Publishing: Always With You.

--I will soon launch a specially designed website that will incorporate Eveyone's Story blog. I hope you will follow me on this new site. When it goes live, I'll make the announcement!



33 comments:

  1. Another wonderful interview and a great sounding book. I will be looking forward to your book. abilene_nana@yahoo.com

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Ann. This sounds like your type of story!

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  2. I am glad there are organizations to help military personnel now. Experiencing military duty changes people and when they come come and try to blend back in with their family it's hard. Mentally they change. Military dogs need to destress as well ! Kathi Macias is a new to me author but I know I would enjoy reading Return to Christmas.
    Book1lovingmomma at gmail dot com

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    1. Deanne, I appreciate your visit this evening.Readjustment on any kind of level isn't easy, and that's why I'm glad Kathy has written a novel on this subject and that you, as a reader, can appreciate it.

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    2. Blessings to you, Book Loving Mama!

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  3. Thanks, Kathi - as a wife who survived 2 long spousal deployments and our son's 2 even longer ones, I certainly resonate to your post. And Elaine, I learned how to make memes!!

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    1. Gail, I'm glad you could connect to Kathi's feature and hope you found it uplifting.

      And memes--great! I'm getting kinda addicted to making them (smiling). I'll have to check yours out… hope to see them on Twitter!

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    2. Thanks, Gail. I recently survived my grandson's deployment. So glad that's over!

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  4. Hi Kathi -

    With so many of our service men and women in harm's way, this is a timely subject. My Dad served in WWII and often suffered with nightmares.

    I've shared this post on Twitter.

    God bless,
    Susan :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Susan. Both my father and my husband's father served in the air force and army, respectfully, and both never wanted to talk about it… I'm sure they had their reasons. So yes, I agree that Kathi's subject is indeed timely… all year round! Thanks for sharing on Twitter. I'll retweet tomorrow.

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    2. So nice of you to stop by, Susan. Blessings!

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  5. I ws 17 when I lost the first friend in Vietnam and 21 when I lost another one. Three more died by the time I was 25. And then the boys returning were treated so badly. It still makes me sad. Kathi's post was so good. We should thank every service man and woman we meet!

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    1. Wow, Pat, that's a lot of loss to cope with at that tender young adult age. They were fortunate to have had you as a true friend.

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    2. I was about the same age at that time, Patricia, and I remember it well.

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  6. Kathi, I hope your story directs more help to our treasured veterans. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

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    1. Bethanie, thanks so much for visiting Kathi and me on Everyone's Story. I'm glad you enjoyed her feature. If you'd like to be entered in her Giveaway, please comment again and include your email addy or use the Contact Me form on the right-hand sidebar.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. Thanks so much, Bethanie.

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  7. Kathi,

    As a military veteran and spouse I can appreciate this post. During my 10 years of service, I deployed only once. However, my husband has deployed 8 times in our 11 year marriage. Prayer support, friends, family, and the kindness of strangers made the long periods of separation so much easier.

    For us, reunions were generally smooth. Our bumps in the road were usually a result of changes in parenting or routine that had occurred while he was away. Thankfully, we've not had to combat PTSD. I pray your book is an encouragement to one of those families.

    @AmandaGeaney

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    1. Amanda, thanks so much for visiting this evening and giving us insight to what it's like to serve, both while you're doing it and then as a spouse/parent home while the other one is serving. God bless you and your husband for your time in protecting our great country.

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    2. Thank you so much, Amanda. It was touching to read your story.

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  8. What an awesome post. I too just heaved a sigh of relief as a loved one returned from deployment. This is a good reminder to remain in prayer, for those who are still 'out there', but also for the service men and women and their families who have returned from deployment and have so many adjustments and sacrifices ahead. I've loved Kathi's other books, and know I would enjoy reading this one too. dsadmail@yahoo.com

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    1. Delores, your comment came at a perfect time: just this evening on the news I heard about President Obama making the decision to keep our service men and women in Afghanistan longer that anticipated. Yes, prayer is a must!

      Glad you enjoyed Kathi's feature.

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    2. Thank you so much, Delores. I pray all is well with you. Miss talking with you!

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  9. Oh Boy, I want to read this book. It sounds soooooooooo good!

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    1. Mary, thanks for visiting!

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. Good to hear from you as always, Mary. Blessings!

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  10. I love your books Kathi and absolutely agree with the support of our military, past and present. Thank you for drawing attention to this through your wonderful gift of storytelling. shareestover@live.com

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    1. Sharee, welcome to Everyone's Story.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. And thank you so much for your comment, Sharee. Blessings to you!

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  11. It's been an honor and joy hosting the marvelous Kathi Macias, a talented and big-hearted woman in both her writing and her love for others.

    Thanks, too, Kathi, for the BookGiveaway of your newest release, RETURN TO CHRISTMAS. And the winner of Kathi's novel is… Bethanie. Congratulations!! Both Kathi and I will contact you in direct emails.

    Blessings to all.

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    1. Once again I've enjoyed being on your excellent blog, Elaine. Thank you so much, and many blessings to all you who left a comment.

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    2. Thanks for the sweet words, Kathi.

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