Iraq

Mom's helper? Grandma

Daralyn with two of her grandchildren. Photo by: Sherri Williams

Daralyn Hollenbeck spent the weekend feeding, bathing and reading to her energetic grandchildren. Between kisses and hugs she played with them outside, took them for a walk and put them to bed. She took over and played mom to her grandchildren for a few hours to give her daughter-in-law Amber Hollenbeck, 27, a break.

All of the household and parenting responsibilities are on Amber now that her husband and Daralyn's son, Josh Hollenbeck, 29, is deployed in Iraq.

Women war vets want recognition

Shannon Williams spoke to two News21 reporters at her home Photo by: Kelly West

Yesterday the Veterans of Foreign Wars kicked off the start of Republic's Prospectors' Days parade, a major summer event in this rural Washington town.

Middle-aged men walked down the street carrying the American flag. Young boys proudly strolled next to them. But there were no women.

The absence of women in the parade mirrors the lack of appreciation some contemporary women veterans feel.

Shannon Williams, 29, who was in the Army, had two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. She was a cook in the Middle East and she was posted at a U.S. entry gate.

Mothers unite

Daralyn Hollenbeck, Blue Star Mothers organizer Photo by: Sherri Williams

When Daralyn Hollenbeck saw mothers of soldiers at war she always thought the women handled the stress of having a child at battle with ease.

"When it happened to me I realized it wasn't so easy," said Hollenbeck, 51, of Oroville whose son Josh Hollenbeck was deployed to Iraq in February. "The biggest thing that surprised me was how deploy I feared for him."

Families go to war too

Photo by Kelly West
Co-authors: 

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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