July 14, 2017

The Art of Grief: ‘Windows and Mirrors’

https://www.thecommononline.org/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!

September 13, 2016

A new essay in Red Earth Review

The 2016 issue of Red Earth Review includes a new essay, entitled "We Were Goats," which recounts a trip to Louisiana to visit one of Francis's closest Army friends. A memorable visit with some great people! Click below to read "We Were Goats," which begins on page 164.

https://issuu.com/redearthreview/docs/rerissuujuly2016