Friday, 21 May 2010

What Memorial Day means to Desert Breeze Author K Dawn Byrd

Memorial Day is the United States holiday that commemorates the men and women who have died while in the military. WWII is near and dear to my heart because my grandfather fought for our country in this war. I am honored that he served, but also humbled. You see, he suffered from what they called "shell shock" and what we call PTSD for the rest of his life. He served, but it cost him and his immediate family dearly. Do we stop to think about how much those who have served have truly paid?

I enjoyed writing Queen of Hearts, the WWII era romantic suspense novel that released in April. My heroine, Daphne Dean, comes from a very patriotic family. So much so that she refuses to take her ex-boyfriend back when he becomes a draft dodger and a seller of black market goods. She could have taken advantage of the goods he sold. Heaven knows, she loves shoes, but she refuses to do so, knowing full well that items were rationed because the supplies were needed for soldiers.

Daphne, like most others, is tired of rationing and would like more meat, butter, and cheese. At one point, she's envious of a group of elderly women who have stockings, which are in short supply because the material is needed to manufacture parachutes. When the items are offered to her later by her ex-boyfriend, she voices her displeasure with him for racketeering.

This Memorial Day will be even more special to me after writing Queen of Hearts and becoming familiar with what people sacrificed in order to bring our boys home safely during WWII. I'd like to send out a personal "thank you" to everyone who has ever served or who is serving our wonderful country today. We are free because of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and may God bless you always.

"Queen of Hearts" is available at the Desert Breeze Website, Amazon for Kindle, All Romance Books and Books on Board.


  1. Memorial Day and Veterans Day is a very special day for me. I served in the army from 1986 to 1997. I was in the military during Gulf War I, but my unit in Germany didn't deploy. My husband, (who was my fiance at the time) did deploy to Kuwait for 90 days which was a very emotional time for me considering we had just fallen in love and were newly engaged. In 1997, I deployed to Hungary in support of our troops in Bosnia at the time. My time in the military was very rewarding, but it is taxing. For all those that have served, my heartfelt to you. I understand the hardship, know the lonilness, and admire your commitment to serving the country you love.

    Moderator Steph

  2. My father fought in Viet Nam, and despite the fact that he was drafted at 19 to go into the military -- a fact that some say should have made him hate the military -- he instilled in my from a very young age the honor and pride we should hold for our soldiers. Whenever I am out with him and he sees a soldier in uniform, he stops and shakes their hand and says thank you.

    This is something that has carried down to my son -- now 12. I will never forget the day we were in the grocery story -- he couldn't have been more than 7 at the time -- and we saw a soldier in fatigues. Patrick broke away from me and ran down the aisle to the man, stopping a few feet away to salute him.

    The soldier hunkered down and saluted back. Made Patrick's day.

    I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if my son told me in a few years that he intended to join the military. Would I be scared out of my mind? Absolutely. But I'd never tell him not to.

    So, to Stephanie -- and anyone else who has been a soldier or loves a soldier -- thank you.

    Gail Delaney

  3. KD, my granddad suffered for the rest of his life from the after effects of WWII also. Days before he passed away he cried over having killed other human beings during the war, and wondered if it was wrong of him. I don't believe so. He was doing his duty and fighting for his country, but I can't imagine the turmoil of what he felt.

  4. Shawna:
    My grandfather became an alcoholic after returning from WWII. My aunt said that he'd wake up in the middle of the night screaming, thinking that he was fighting. He was a sharp shooter and probably killed many. His best friend was killed at his side. He saw terrible things that he was never able to overcome. I was too small when he died to know of these things. I did know that he was an alcoholic though. There was no treatment protocol for PTSD back then and he was probably self-medicating with the alcohol.He was good to me and I loved him.

  5. Shawna and K Dawn, World War II took a lot out our men who fought. What they did was admirable. Both your grandfathers are in my prayers as Memorial Day approaches. My paternal grandfather was also in the war, in Europe. My husband's grandfather was in the Pacific theatre in the Navy. My heartfelt respect goes to all who served.