My veteran father, his PTSD, and my ALA membership

Posted On: Friday, 01 May 2020

The ALA Stories blog series showcases positive American Legion Auxiliary experiences, thoughts, and ideas of ALA members. We hope these blog posts will inspire and encourage all who read them.

Guest blog by Carole Baldwin

Carole Baldwin

Carole Baldwin, Member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28 in Millsboro, Del.

Member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 28 in Millsboro, Del.

My father, William R. Vernotico, was a World War II U.S. Army veteran. He was one of the thousands who landed on the beaches of Normandy in France on D-Day. He talked about being shell-shocked, and as a young girl, I thought he had a shell explode next to him. He would go into rages and tear up the house … and other things!

It wasn’t until he passed away at 62 years old — and I joined the American Legion Auxiliary — that I realized he suffered from PTSD that was never diagnosed or treated. This realization broke my heart.

As an ALA member, I learned about veterans’ issues and rehabilitation. And, I met other veterans who may have gone through similar things my father did after he returned home from war. All of this became my “why” and my passion to recognize and honor veterans, military, and their families.

U.S. Army WWII

U.S. Army WWII veteran William R. Vernotico (on the right), an MP in Marseille, France.

Editor’s Note:

The American Legion Auxiliary is a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families. Our mission statement:

In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace, and security.

ALA Mission
Statement

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.