Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Craving fresh, exciting works of fiction by some of today's most talented authors? Read the "EPIC! ANTHOLOGY"

Good news! My newest short story is out! You will find it in "Epic!", the newest and most anticipated anthology (collection of short stories) to hit the market. Pick up your paperback or Kindle copy today! All proceeds will go to support The Lili Claire Foundation. You'll also find exciting new stories from authors C.L. Foster, E.R. Rada, Ian Cai Mercer, Gillian Joy, Robert Warr, Ema Volf, Melanie Corona, Domri Stevens, Jyotsna Ramani, and others! Check it out today!

Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/5047914
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OLBCQ9C

Friday, May 23, 2014

U.S. Army, Retired

Today I signed my DD-214. Start terminal leave this Monday (26 May). I will miss many things about the Army, but I'm excited to begin this next phase in my life. Next picture I upload will be of me fishing with a full beard! :) On a serious note, I would like to say to all of my battle buddies that it has been a true pleasure serving with you. I have made many memories over the years--some good, some not so good. But I am confident that I am a better man today because of the decision I made over seven years ago to serve my country. I have no regrets, only that I wish I could have served longer. But like the chaplain says, everything happens for a reason. I love my country, and I love the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen that I got to serve beside. I will miss you all. To my battle buddies who made the ultimate sacrifice, I will never forget, and I will honor you until my grave. Last but not least, I would like to thank my loving family. Behind every good Soldier is an even better spouse. I know first-hand that this is true. As one door closes and another one opens, I am filled with excitement for what the future holds. Thanks for celebrating this day with me. :) Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Casey S. Harmon 
SGT (ret), U.S. Army

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kickstarter Campaign Raised $3,305.00 for Children's Book about PTSD

I know this is a little late, but the Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my upcoming book, titled, "My Daddy Has PTSD" was a HUGE success! Here's the breakdown:

   48 backers!
   707 Facebook shares!
   $2,105.00 raised online (through Kickstarter) plus another $1,200.00 raised offline (through anonymous donation)= a total of $3,305.00!

   All proceeds from this campaign will go directly toward production and marketing costs. I will be conducting a book tour after the book is released to the public sometime around Christmas 2014. (Follow my Facebook page to track the progress of the tour.)

   I would like to extend a special "Thank You" to those of you who continue to support me and my writing career. Every day I am amazed at how far I have come in just a few short years, and I am truly humbled by the number of fans and supporters who turn out to support my projects. I can't wait to see what happens next!

   God bless!

Happy Readings,
Casey Sean Harmon


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Many military veterans deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This book will help children understand & cope with PTSD.

Good day everyone! Thanks for stopping by to read my blog. Today I would like to tell you about my Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming book, titled, My Daddy Has PTSD.

But first, please take a few minutes to look over the campaign just to get an idea of what I'm talking about.


   Why did I write this book?

I wrote My Daddy Has PTSD for my son shortly after I was diagnosed with PTSD. It became apparent to me that PTSD is a subject many people try to avoid because so few people understand what it is. That is the wrong answer. People need to understand, and it needs to start with our children.

During my seven year tour on a Unit Ministry Team in the U.S. Army I witnessed things that few people can imagine—things that will last in my memory forever. From having to bury a battle buddy who committed suicide in front of his wife and kids, to witnessing the last breath of two of my battle buddies following a tragic vehicle accident. And yet as traumatic as these things were, the hardest part was providing support to the family members and battle buddies who were left behind. Over the years I have dealt with (or helped to deal with) hundreds of cases pertaining to suicide, combat deaths, PTSD, equal opportunity, low morale, and well being counseling--for Soldiers, veterans and family members. So when I was diagnosed with PTSD, I knew exactly what I was dealing with. I also knew that my loving family would have to suffer right alongside me. 

So I wrote this book as a tool to help explain to my son (and future children) exactly what it is that daddy is dealing with. I believe that plenty of other daddies (and mommies, too) can also use this book to help explain their symptoms to their children.

The subject of PTSD is very near and dear to my heart. I have seen the problems that trauma-caused anxiety, depression, stress and fear can create with Soldiers and their family members. I have heard the cries and witnessed the destruction. This disorder is very real, and more common than you may think.

   About the book:

My Daddy Has PTSD is a simple story presented through the eyes of a young child, and includes the confusion, as well as the coming of understanding, many military children today face. It asks the question, "What is wrong with daddy?" and politely answers by saying, "Daddy is going through some things, but here's how we can help..." Children of all ages will learn about some of the symptoms of PTSD, and how the family as a whole can cope with the issues. But most importantly, the book teaches children that what daddy or mommy is going through is not the fault of the children, and that PTSD should be looked at as a sign of strength and not weakness.

My Daddy Has PTSD has been accepted and will be released to bookstores everywhere by Tate Publishing. We recently entered the production stage, which could take up to 5 to 10 months. The estimated release date is between August 2014 and January 2015. The finished product will include at least ten beautiful full-color illustrations. It will be a quick and easy read, meant to be something that can be read and enjoyed over and over again and passed down through the family. The book is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

I have done my research. You will not find another book for children that covers such a delicate and misunderstood topic--especially one written by a Soldier who deals with and understands PTSD.

    In Conclusion...

I hope to accomplish two things with this campaign: To rally enough support through various military and civilian communities to ensure that My Daddy Has PTSD makes it into as many hands as possible, and to raise enough funds to cover a nation-wide book tour.

Please join me as I take on this project. Whether you are a Soldier, family member, supporter of Soldiers, or simply someone who wants to help troops, by supporting this project you will be reaching out to the millions of families across America who could use a book like this. I can't do this without YOUR support. If you know someone who could benefit from My Daddy Has PTSD, please be sure to direct them to this site. Also, be sure to share this event on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and any other means. The key to success is word of mouth...so let's start talking!

   Thank you in advance for your support!


Casey Sean Harmon

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Papa's Waltz - What Does It Mean?



My Papa's Waltz

By Theodore Roethke

The whiskey on your breath
Could make a small boy dizzy;
But I hung on like death:
Such waltzing was not easy.

We romped until the pans
Slid from the kitchen shelf;
My mother's countenance
Could not unfrown itself.

The hand that held my wrist
Was battered on one knuckle;
At every step you missed
My right ear scraped a buckle.

You beat time on my head
With a palm caked hard by dirt,
Then waltzed me off to bed
Still clinging to your shirt.

   The speaker’s usual stance suggests that waltzing with his drunken father before bed time is a common occurrence; in fact, to go so far as to appoint his father his very own waltz further suggests that his father may have been drunk more often than he was sober. The boy has no clue that what his beloved father is doing is wrong.

Happy Readings,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Well, Here I Am

Good day everyone,

   Just so you are tracking, I will soon be leaving the Army after seven years of honorable service. The reason is not by choice: unfortunately, I suffered a serious back injury during an airborne accident while I was going through the Civil Affairs Q-Course. After many months of treatment, Army doctors decided that my injury would not improve over time, and I was recommended for a Medical Board. Shortly after, I was found unfit and am now waiting on administrative stuff so I can begin to final out. Heck, I already turned in all my Army-issued gear. That was a sad day.
   At first the news was devastating: I worked so hard for so long to get to where I was in the Army. Not only was I close to earning my rocker (SSG, E-6; I would have been promoted upon graduating the Q-Course), but my dreams of becoming a Special Operations Soldier was in my grasp. Also, I was shooting for my 20. I had planned to retire in 13 years!
   But after several months of waiting in limbo, I'm now beginning to get over the shock of everything and am ready to move on with my life. My short-term plans are to get out of the military, move my family and our household goods to our home in Florida, and to find suitable employment. My long-term goals are to continue to adapt to civilian life and to continue (more aggressively than I have been) to write and market my books. All of this being said, I have a lot on my mind.

   Key take-aways: You can't change what you can't control, and everything happens for a reason. If you find yourself in a similar situation, just remember that you ARE NOT alone. You ARE NOT a failure because you can no longer do some of the things you used to enjoy. And most importantly, you ARE NOT a failure because you are unable to continue your military service. I have to remind myself these things every single day. There are many important things in life which need your attention, like your family, friends and YOURSELF. Take care of yourself--body, mind and soul.

   That's all I wanted to say for now. Hopefully someone out there will find this inspirational.

   By the way, I'm going to take this opportunity to show off my Army awards and achievements. ;)

My Digital Shadow Box (as of Feb 2014)

Thanks for reading,
SGT Harmon

Is Langston Hughes’ “Song for a Dark Girl” a Religious Poem?

Song for a Dark Girl
by Langston Hughes 
Way Down South in Dixie
 (Break the heart of me)
They hung my black young lover
 To a cross roads tree.
Way Down South in Dixie
 (Bruised body high in air)
I asked the white Lord Jesus
 What was the use of prayer.
Way Down South in Dixie
 (Break the heart of me)
Love is a naked shadow
 On a gnarled and naked tree.

Is Langston Hughes’ “Song for a Dark Girl” a Religious Poem?
by Casey Sean Harmon
In Langston Hughes’ “Song for a Dark Girl,” readers are given the opportunity to experience the aftereffects of a tragic situation through the eyes of an African-American girl during the days of slavery in southern America. Many believe that the author’s use of religious-themed allegories suggests a likeness between the incident and the tragic death of Christ, although the author’s intentions are not clear. One thing that is clear: it is very difficult to ignore the pain felt by the speaker, or to disregard the grief felt by the African-American people as a whole.
            Readers can see by the title that the poem, or “song”, is for “a dark girl.” The title may not only be referring to the dark color of the girl’s skin, but also the darkness, or sadness, felt by the girl, as the word “darkness” is commonly used to describe a state of unpleasantness. The speaker may also be trying to reach out to anyone who has experienced the grief and suffering bore by so many African-Americans in the days of slavery.
            The first line of the poem, “Way Down South in Dixie,” inspires thoughts of the American deep south, and comes from the upbeat pro-slavery anthem, “Dixie.” (The ever-controversial song was meant to poke fun at the African-American slaves, insinuating that they “loved living on plantations, and preferred slavery over freedom;” it was also a rivalry tool against the north, who sought to end slavery.) But it is made clear by the second line, which is emphasized by parenthesis to represent an internal emotion, that this poem is no “ode to joy.”
            The narrator reveals the girl’s distress by saying, “Break the heart of me,” followed immediately by the girl’s cry, “They hung my black young lover to a cross roads tree.” Readers are now shockingly aware of the tragedy at hand: the girl’s lover has been hanged—and, as was common in those days, more than likely for no reason.
            The first possible representation of Christ is the fact that the girl’s lover was hanged “on a cross roads tree.” Some believe that this is a tree located on the corner of a four-way intersection, where people passing by can see and mock the dead body. However, it is curious why the author spells “crossroads” with two words instead of just one, which is the customary way of spelling it. Perhaps the author is trying to emphasize the word “cross” in hopes of bringing to mind a crucifix—which, according to the Bible, is where Jesus was hanged, also for no reason.
            The fourth line repeats the first line, “Way Down South in Dixie,” to again remind readers of the pro-slavery song. By now readers can easily see the irony in the author’s decision to include the line, which is that “Dixie” is not the slave-respecting place it so arrogantly claims to be. The sixth line, “Bruised body high in air,” (which again is in parenthesis to represent internal emotion) places the girl’s dead lover at center stage. Now readers are given a bit more insight into the wicked nature of the slave’s murderers: not only did they hang him, but they first beat him until he was covered in bruises. What’s worse is the realization that the young girl probably witnessed the whole ordeal.
            The final possible implication of Christ is also presented in the sixth line. For those who are familiar with the Biblical account, it is hard to read the line without thinking of Christ, bruised and bloody, hanging on the cross.
            The seventh and eighth lines reveal the hopelessness, as well as the anger, of the speaker: “I asked the white Lord Jesus what was the use of prayer.” This is powerful in two ways: the apparent Christ-believing speaker has fallen so low that she now doubts her religion, and the fact that she refers to Jesus as “white Lord Jesus” is a further indication that she has lost all faith in white people. She must be thinking, “Why would I want to pray to someone who is white, just like those who have brought so much pain to my people?”
            The ninth and final paragraph reminds readers one last time of the infamous song that was a slap in the face to all slaves: “Way Down South in Dixie.” Immediately following is another reflection of the speaker’s inner emotions, “Break the heart of me,” which now seems much darker and maybe even revengeful. Readers are also now able to understand the speaker’s pain at an all new level; the word “break” suddenly stands out as something much more forceful, like a crash or explosion.
            The author uses the final two lines to sum up the poem: “Love is a naked shadow on a gnarled and naked tree.” That is, her “lover,” dead and exposed for the world to see, is hanging on the tree. This could also mean that this is how the speaker now views life: people live, suffer, and ultimately end up as a “naked shadow” on an ugly, “gnarled tree.” Again the speaker is asking with much dismay, “What is the point in living?”
            The possible religious implications of this poem have been challenged since its conception in 1927. Regardless of the author’s intentions, by use of irony and deep emotions, Hughes certainly succeeded in helping generations to see slavery from a different point of view.


Casey Harmon
Literature Class
February 10, 2014

 Copyright 2014 by Casey Sean Harmon.

Kickstarter Campaign Discussion for "My Daddy Has PTSD" Book by Casey Sean Harmon

What do you think? Would you be interested in supporting a Kickstarter campaign for this book? Details below. (I will be hosting a Facebook event this Sunday at 6:00 pm EST to answer questions. Click HERE to RSVP.)

Awesome news! I just finished my next book. This one's an illustrated children's story book about Soldiers dealing with PTSD--or Post-Thematic Stress Disorder, also known as shell shock and battle fatigue. Tate Publishing has agreed to publish it with full perks, including full color interior illustrations, an audio book version, a televised commercial, and it will even come with its own coloring book! Production will begin soon. However, in order for this book to be a success, I need to raise money to cover marketing costs. ON THAT NOTE, I am thinking about doing another Kickstarter campaign. (I did one back in 2012 for my book "The Everafter Chronicles", which was a HUGE success!) The mission of this campaign is to bring awareness to the civilian sector about the difficulties of PTSD, particularly the impact it plays on military and veteran children. The story is presented through the eyes of a young child, and includes the confusion, as well as the coming of understanding, many military children today face.

Before I put in a lot of work to begin another Kickstarter campaign, I would like to know what you guys think. Is this something you may be interested in supporting? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Just so everyone knows, I was diagnosed with PTSD and am very familiar with the difficulties it presents. This cause is very near and dear to my heart. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

Must read article about PTSD: http://ptsdasoldiersperspective.blogspot.com/2010/06/daddy-has-ptsd.html

Additional information about PTSD: http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/ptsd?gclid=CMj22JSawrwCFSYOOgodfDMAvA

Happy Readings,
Casey Sean Harmon