Carol Schultz Vento in her book, “The Hidden Legacy of World War II: A Daughter’s Journey of Discovery” details the generational impact of war trauma. The author’s father, Arthur “Dutch” Schultz, had previously been immortalized in the film. “The Longest Day” and also by famed historian Stephen Ambrose in his book “Citizen Soldiers.” As noted in Carol’s work, the narrative of the “Good War” is dispelled when the families share the reality of being in the sphere of a combat veteran.
With the permission of her father, Carol tells the hard truths about the emotional toll and the secondary impact of post traumatic stress. Her raw and candid approach in relaying her own story, while adeptly weaving the journeys of both her father and stepfather, allows the reader to share in the family struggles and to identify with her pain.
Hidden Legacy is well researched and provides a substantial list of resources for those seeking information about post traumatic stress and its impact on the family. The book reveals the gap in the historical record and rightly acknowledges that several authors in their attempt to honor “The Greatest Generation,” failed the families of those veterans. This failure is clearly demonstrated through the stories shared in Carol’s work.
Carol honors veterans and their families by providing a historical perspective and a cautionary tale. Her warning is that the invisible wounds of war will eventually come to the surface. This is a powerful piece of literary work that can be used to open a discussion with today’s returning veterans.
As a returning veteran myself, I paused several times in the reading and contemplated my own interaction with my daughters. I, for one, appreciate the perspective and will reflect deeply and often on the words in Hidden Legacy as our family continues on its own journey.
The writer, Nate Brookshire, is a 21-year Army Veteran and co-author of Hidden Wounds: A Soldier’s Burden. He is a passionate supporter of Veteran’s rights with a focus on PTSD and the impact it has on the Military Family. Nate and his wife Melanie continue to be actively involved with several non-profits while using their experience to advocate for positive action and growth through the transitions of military life.