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Topeka couple announce new veteran-focused book

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 6:30 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka couple is trying to provide a common bond among those impacted by military service with a new book about the husband’s experiences in Vietnam.

Steve Williams was drafted and served one year in Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne Infantry in the Army. He and his wife, Rosie, said their lives changed when he returned in 1970 and after 50 years, he’s found the words to explain his struggles dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and civilian life overall.

“For instance, you can look at a tree during the summertime and sometimes there’s a spot of leaves that are dead where the others are green, well that’s nothing to most people,” said Steve. “For me, that’s a sniper and I’m home I haven’t have to worry about that now but I was trained to recognize that.”

When Steve came back to Topeka, they were unaware of what PTSD was and what it meant for them moving forward.

For years, Steve did not want to talk about what he went through. Rosie wanted to help.

Rosie was able to get Steve to talk about some of his stories and she ended up writing two books. She wanted him to open up about the trauma he experienced, himself.

“What it was a commitment to each other carried us through, our faith in God carried us through and when the hard times hit, we just dug in.”

A call from his son last year convinced him.

“He said, ‘Dad, I want your stories in writing for my children.’ My grandchildren and I’m going wow that pushed me over the edge,” said Steve.

The book is titled “Nine Pairs of Boots in Vietnam” for the nine pairs of boots he went through in his year as an infantry point man, he outlines nine steps to healing and how the couple leans on their faith.

Rosie said, “We were talking one day about how we address that in a way that people could relate to and so Steve said, ‘well, in order to get healing, you have to believe in the healer.’ And when he said that, it really struck a chord with me.”

“This book is actually good for any vet, especially combat vets but it’s also good for anybody that’s been through trauma and not necessarily military,” said Steve.

They gave about 100 books to veterans and sold about 100 on Wednesday. You can find the book on their website.

The two also serve as state coordinators for Point Man and Homefront Ministries of Kansas, which is a Christian organization as they said, “for military veterans, by military veterans.”

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