May 23


Journals Tell The Story of War

By Jana Hassett

May 23, 2020

Pandemic, Personal Journal

We're At War - Journals Tell the Story

Personal Journals Tell The Story - - -

The past shapes us all and our personal journals help us tell that story.  Are you writing your story?  If not, I hope you'll consider starting today.  The war we are in with the Covid-10 Virus should be told from each family and why not you?

Dad's Service -

The Memorial Weekend always reminds of the U.S Marine Corps and my families story that started in World War II.  My dad was working in the woods in the Pacific Northwest when the war started.  He left his job, returned to Kansas City and enlisted in the Marines.  I won't bore you with the details of his service, but he ended up with Johnson's Raiders.  That changed his life, and ours.  Between  the diseases he brought back from the Islands they raided, to the mental impacts of seeing all the death and destruction, he lost his rose-colored glasses quickly.

Personal Journal Photos

Dad on the Left - Mother/Grandmother on Right. 1940's

Grandma's Service and Personal Journal

During that time, my Mother's Mom decided she would enlist in the Marines in the Nurses Corp, for which she was trained.  She had a severe hearing loss and before boot camp was over, she was medically discharged. She was taught to keep a journal of her life and the family pictures that she saved and passed on are all dated and have addresses on them.  It's a wonderful way to document their journey from Missouri to California.

Mom's Journey is without a journal.

My Mom decided she too would serve.  She and daddy dated before he went to the woods, and she had been writing him while he was in boot camp.  Upon his return to Camp LeJune, he decided to write her back.  By then, 1943 ish, she was at Cherry Point and realizing that the Marines Corp was not the right fit for her.  After many more months, my folks were married  she got pregnant with my older sister and she got a S

She told me, towards the end of her life, that a 1099 was a medical discharge for pregnancy and the girls in boot camp had a song - "1099, 1099, I'm going home on a 1099".  She giggled, and said their Drill Instructor gave them KP duty if they sang it. Obviously the military wasn't for everyone.  She followed daddy to Camp LeJune until my sister was born in 1945 and then returned to Kansas.  He followed not long after with an honorable discharge.

Journal your family lifestyle changes.

He left Kansas a young buck, ready to be a soldier and returned home married, with a daughter and his mother had passed away during his absence.  His world was forever changed. His three younger siblings looked to him as they had before he left, but his priorities had changed with his own family to care for. Luckily, his high school buddy was committed to telling his story and provided me a number of wonderful details about his life that Daddy would not write or talk about.  Bud's personal journal made a difference.

I see similar changes in people today.  The major difference is the location - their own backyard, not some foreign country.  Thousands of deaths from the Coronavirus, lives changed, and a change in lifestyles.  Loss of jobs has created fear.  Fear that their job won't be there when they can go back to work.  Fear that they won't be able to provide for their families.  And fear that what they've been working for will no longer be important - what will take the place of that goal? 

Start your Journal -

Those of us that lived through the consequences of World War II and Vietnam acknowledge the fear and know life will change and watch the changes happen with not so much fear as sorrow.  Many of us have written our stories in our personal journals in order for future generations to understand, we hope, why we did things we did. My hope is that this generation will take the time to write about the changes in their lives because of the pandemic.  

In recognition of those we follow, please write in Your Personal Journal Today! 

If you'd like to write yours, I'd be happy to help by providing you a list of topics to write about.  It's your journal, it doesn't have to have perfect grammar and sentence structure.  Who cares about the spelling.  It's your journal/diary and your life.  No one needs to see it EVER if you don't want them to. 

Here's the biggest objections I hear to writing in a journal -

  • I'm afraid to write?   
  • I don't know what to write about!
  • How do I get started?
  • I'm a lousy writer!
  • My life is boring and/or I'm not important.!

All excuses to not giving yourself the credit you deserve for your own unique life!

Ready to get free help?  Let's start with notebook paper and a pencil or pen.

Ready?   Sign up to get your first email prompt and a free digital journal.  Your journey will be one sentence a day for a month.  You can do that!!!!!  

Start Now!

Jana Hassett

About the author

Retired Congressional Aide, Coach, Mentor and Grant Writer, Jana advocates for everyone having an elevator speech. She currently serves as Business Coach for the Ms. Biz program at the Women's Business Center of Utah, Cedar City. She's been writing blogs since 2006 and enjoys journaling.
"Passing It On" is her WHY, in honor of all those that mentored and guided her journery over the years.

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