Kids at the Hoisington Public Library had the opportunity to meet a true American hero Wednesday afternoon. Seth Kastle, author of “Why is dad so mad?”, a book about post traumatic stress disorder. He brought along his uniform, a ceremonial sword owned by his friend, a fallen soldier he served with in Afghanistan, and other military memorabilia.
Kastle explained he struggles with PTSD, and has for the past 10 years. Married, and with two young daughters, he wanted to help his daughters understand why he is the way he is. They have only ever known him after his tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq were completed, after all.
One particularly bad day, he returned home from work and wrote the first draft of his book. Later, he became serious about publishing it. He began by self-publishing the book out of pocket and through a successful Kickstarter campaign that also funded the second book which will be out soon, “Why is mom so mad?” That book explains PTSD from the point of view of the family of a female soldier, now more common than ever with more and more women serving in the military. Kastle noted that even if they don’t have combat positions, many of the dangerous situations experienced by the military is directed at the jobs many women hold, such as driving support vehicles.
“More than anything, I want my daughters as well as the children of other service members to know that no matter what, we as fathers love them more than anything.”
The description of the book is simple. It’s a story for children in military families whose father battles with combat related PTSD. AFter a decade fighting wars on two fronts, tens of thousands of servicemembers are coming home having trouble adjusting to civilian life, including parenting, a struggle even under the best of circumstances, Kastle said.
The sees dad struggle with the symptoms of the the disorder, which include anger, forgetfulness, sleepless nights and sometimes even nightmares. It explains the symptoms and how they affect the dad in the story. In the end, the kids understand that even though he struggles with the symptoms, he still loves his family above all.
Kastle served 16 years in the Army Reserve, reaching the rank of Company First Sergeant before he was medically discharged after a heart attack at age 28. He was deployed in 2002 to Qatar and then to Afghanistan for eight months, and then deployed to Iraq for another 15 months from January 2003 until April 2004.
Kastle is now a Professor of Leadership Studies at Fort Hays State University. His books are available on Amazon.com and through his website, kastlebooks.com.