Army National Guard

Children Left Behind


By Sherri Williams
News21 / Syracuse University

Kaden Hollenbeck’s firm handshake, energetic personality and animated voice belie that of a typical 7-year-old.

His maturity mixes with his spirited and sad greeting: “My dad is in Iraq!” he shouts with both pride and pain swirling in his voice at the family home on the Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash.

Families go to war too

Photo by Kelly West

Today my partner Kelly West and I met Charlene Payton Holt, the wife of a Vietnam War veteran. She affirmed a lot of things Danna Hughes, of the Vietnam Veterans Wives, told us earlier in the week.

Women need just as much help as their husbands to cope with the fallout of war. Holt, a retired art educator, said counseling is key for the entire veteran's family to heal.
"We all need counseling in this life," she said. "It is sacred. It's your spirit's medicine."

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