December 23, 2014

Peace of the season

Christmas morning, 2007. Francis's first Christmas at home
following his honorable discharge from the Army.
A special thank you to all of our friends and family who contributed to the Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund for Homeless Veterans at the Kansas City VA. Since Veterans Day you added $1,100 to this fund in service of those veterans who are most in need of a hand-up. We have collectively raised over $23,300 to support these men and women and their families.

The holidays can be especially difficult. We are greatly comforted by knowing that so many people care and that Francis is so well remembered.

Best wishes of the season!

October 17, 2014

You'll be with us through every inning and always

Hey, Francis! The Royals won the AL pennant and made it to the World Series! Here's what a couple of friends wrote about you and the Royals soon after we lost you:

"Hey, man. We miss your presence here. I could really use a reality check about the Royals right now, and I don't know who better to dish it out. See you in a while, brother." --Eric Sherman

"Hey, Franky, I was just thinking about the time in the Korengal when you were talking about sitting on the other ridge with a KC ball hat listening to your ipod." --Tom Eineke

You'll be with us through every inning of the World Series, and always. With love from Mom & Dad, Erin & Alex, and all who knew you.
Francis D. Sommer (May 12, 1983 - Feb. 11, 2011)

May 12, 2014

It's your birthday, Francis!

Francis D. Sommer
May 12, 1983 - February 11, 2011

You are always in our hearts!

May 7, 2014

New and not-so-new writings remember Francis in time for his birthday and Memorial Day

Two excerpts from my current work-in-progress, a memoir entitled Losing Francis: One Family’s Journey through a Decade of American War, have recently appeared on-line and in print. In addition, proceeds from the sale of two previously published books will be donated to the Kansas City VA Medical Center in Francis’s memory. 

“Leavenworth,” which explores the setting and history of Leavenworth National Cemetery, where Francis rests, appears in the Fall 2013 issue of Rathalla Review and is available on-line for free here:

“Remedial Army,” which describes Francis’s letters from Basic Training at Fort Benning, appears in the Spring 2014 issue of New Plains Review. Here’s a brief excerpt:

He wore a short-sleeve dress shirt, pressed olive-green slacks, and a cadet cap. Our photos reveal his misgivings about being seen in this outfit, which he wore for the first time that day, a requirement of the weekend pass. His belt buckle is askew and his shirt partly untucked in one picture. The confidence he’d enjoyed for weeks on Sand Hill in workout gear or BDUs was now diluted by his first venture onto the main post in a blank uniform, devoid of color or rank—so obviously a trainee that he made an easy target even for a clerk in the commissary, who treated him with disdain and a clear sense of impunity about doing so as he got fitted for boots.

“Remedial Army” is only available in print and can be ordered here:

In addition to these recent articles, proceeds from the sale of Where the Wind Blew: A Novel and American Holidays (a short story collection self-published under the pseudonym Rob Driscoll) will be donated to The Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund. To support the cause of assisting homeless veterans, purchase of these books only through Tallgrass Books at Amazon.

Here are the links: 

(Remember--please place your order only through Tallgrass Books 
to ensure that your donation reaches the Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund)

Thank you for remembering Francis 
and for all you do to support our homeless and needy veterans!