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An author's gratitude
Lisa Carrington Firmin is the author of Stories from the Front: Pain, Betrayal, and Resilience on the MST Battlefield, published in 2022 by Blue Ear Books.
As I enter 2023 with excitement about writing my second book, a collection of poems, prose and art, I cannot allow any more time to pass without stating just how grateful I am to the many individuals, organizations, and institutions who supported my first book.
I posted my gratitude on my socials at the end of the year, but wanted to take a bit more space here to convey just how grateful I really am to all those that preordered or purchased Stories from the Front, hosted or attended book-related events, waited in line to get a signed copy and speak with me about the importance of the subject of military sexual trauma. Sadly, the 14 stories in the book of MST and gender, racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation disparities resonated with many who have served or are currently serving in the United States armed forces. I remain humbled by those who shared their own stories with me at events or through emails, posts, and calls.
It takes much courage to speak out about these types of experiences. I wrote Stories from the Front to help educate the public, to drive needed changes, and to let others know they are not alone. The real brave folks are those that allowed me to share their stories in the book. I will be forever grateful to them. All our stories are making a difference. I am so very grateful to my editor and publisher, Ethan Casey, Blue Ear Books, for taking a leap of faith with me and being such an advocate and ally for the work I do.
Specifically, I would like to thank the following organizations and institutions for being courageous enough to host Stories from the Front events, to assist in educating others and increasing awareness of MST. It is never simple or easy to call for change and support a book that demands it.
Texas A&M University-Kingsville
The University of Texas at San Antonio
The National Diversity Council
Women Veterans of San Antonio
City of Austin
Library of Congress
Joint Women Leadership Symposium
USAF Security Forces Center
USAF Hispanic Empowerment Advancement Team Conference
Daughters of the American Revolution – De Bexar
South Texas College
Delaware Valley Veterans Coalition
American GI Forum
Texas A&M San Antonio
Our Lady of the Lake University
Women Veterans Alliance
Women Veterans Texas magazine
Hispanic Executive magazine
Latina Style magazine
Military Officer magazine
Phi Kappa Phi Forum
I must also thank the various media that covered book-related events. I am deeply grateful to Andrea Patino Contreras for producing #IamVanessaGullien via Univision, a documentary that shed much light on Latinas and MST. The need to educate others about how deeply entrenched MST is cannot be overstated. It takes all of us to keep this issue in front of Congress, the Armed Services, and the American public.
Additionally, I remain grateful to those organizations to which I was privileged to donate copies of Stories from the Front: Michigan Veteran Affairs/Statewide Women Vet Conference, Veterans Counseling Veterans, Women Vets of San Antonio, City of Austin/Women Vet Appreciation Luncheon, Daughters of the American Revolution-De Bexar, Ancestry, AGIF, and 2nd Annual Mountain Veteran Community Career & Expo.
As an author, I never take support for my writing for granted. Thanks to all who supported it in 2022. Muchisimas gracias a todos. I look forward to having you along for the ride on my upcoming collection of poems, prose, and art titled A Latina Warrior’s Journey. Projected publication is November 2023 from Blue Ear Books.
To purchase Stories from the Front, for additional information, or to see more event pictures, please go to my website, www.lisacarringtonfirmin.com.
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