January 8, 2018

‘Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home' to be released March 1st


Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home will be released by Fomite Press on March 1, 2018.  

Here's what some early readers are saying about this collection:

“Both harrowing and lovely, Losing Francis is a vibrant, indispensable document of life in our time.”  Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant

"A poignant account of one couple's journey through the shadow cast by the death of their son. Inextricably woven into the story is the nefarious reality of the nation's ruinous recent wars. A compelling and insightful book." 
—Mark Karlin, Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

“Sommer’s prose often rises to the poetic, his storytelling is poignant yet never sentimental, and his unflinching honesty in relating his son’s life and death leave the reader with a lump in the throat and a righteous anger. Losing Francis will surely take its earned place in the lamentably-large library of great literature of the home front.”
—Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma State Poet Laureate 2017-18, author of What I Learned at the War

“Robert F. Sommer has written a remarkably compelling book with boldness and startling passion …. It reverberates and teaches and beyond all else, it rings with hope.” 
—Barry Sanders, author of The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism

“Losing Francis is a lyrical indictment of the historical, political, and cultural forces that keep America at war, and then leave its veterans out in the cold.”
—Max Rayneard, The Telling Project

A portion of the proceeds will support the Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund for Homeless Veterans. Pre-ordering will soon be available at Fomite Press and Amazon.

December 23, 2017

Christmas 2017

Greens from our tree at home. Merry Christmas, Francis!
We miss you!

July 14, 2017

The Art of Grief: ‘Windows and Mirrors’

"Collateral Damage," oil painting by Lillian Moats
Newly posted at The Common On-Line, "The Art of Grief: ‘Windows and Mirrors,’" an excerpt from my work-in-progress, Losing Francis: One Family's Journey through a Decade of War.

March 30, 2017

‘Really awesome!’: Kansas City VA & Francis Fund Update

Francis in Afghanistan, 2006-7.
I had a great call yesterday with Monique at the Kansas City VA's Voluntary Services Unit. She's one of the staff members who's been, along with her many other duties, helping manage donations to the KC VA in memory of Francis.

"Really awesome!" is how she described all that we, collectivelyour family, friends, & the many great folks we've never met who support this efforthave been able to accomplish. She reminded me that the Francis Fund, as we like to call it, is the largest such memorial donation they've ever received, now over $25,000!

For homeless veterans getting settled in new housing, Monique and her colleague Melissa recently purchased 200 sets of bedsheets, 200 blankets, and 400 pillows, thanks to the Francis Fund. Not used from a thrift store, but new! Imagine what new sheets and a new pillow mean to someone's dignity. And how great a new pillow feels, Monique added.

We sometimes tend to think of homeless veterans as men, but it's worth noting that it is
often women and children who benefit from these donations.

What an honor it is to share this update with all of the many people who've made this possible. Monique  wanted me to know what an amazing circle of people surrounds Francis even now, six years after we've lost him, and how many, many people he has touched.

Thank you for all you do!