Brooke King, veteran, author, and SNU MFA in Creative Writing alumna
MFA in Creative Writing Alumna Brooke King's essay in The Atlantic.

“How Will My PTSD Affect My Kids?”

MFA in Creative Writing alumna Brooke King’s essay

A Veteran Wonders: How Will My PTSD Affect My Kids?” is a candid look at how her war experience has infiltrated her family. In the piece, published in The Atlantic on November 30, she describes the triggers that still affect her.

“Years have gone by since my return from Iraq. My children are in elementary school, my time in the war was 10 years ago, and yet, the war followed me home in the guise of combat PTSD, wrapping itself around me like another one of my children.”

She describes some of the research on how a person’s experience of trauma affects the people around them, and the influence she sees on her own children. As she explores the ways she has learned to reduce the power of her past over her life and that of her family, she finds that

“What helps me to heal may help my children as well. If I show them that I’m acknowledging my trauma, and working through it, they’ll pick up on that, just as they pick up on my avoidant behaviors. Even while they’re too young for me to tell them just what I went through in the war, they can sense if I’m avoiding things that are difficult, or dealing with them head-on.”

Private First Class Brooke King deployed to Iraq in 2006 as a wheel vehicle mechanic, machine gunner, and recovery specialist. She is married to a fellow veteran of the United States Army and is the mother of twin boys who were conceived in Iraq. When Brooke began writing as a way to cope with PTSD, she found she had a distinct voice within the war genre.

Brooke obtained her Bachelors from Saint Leo University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from SNC in 2014. Her writing brings new perspective and insight to the role of female soldiers in combat and war.

Brooke King in Anthologies

“Redeployment Packing Checklist” in Incoming: Veteran Writers On Coming Home, edited by Justin Hudnall and Julia Dixon Evans (So Say We All 2015)
“Breathe through Your Mouth” in Red, White, and True: Stories from Veterans and Families, World War II to Present, edited by Tracy Crow (Potomac Books 2014)
“Permanent” in 0 Dark Thirty, the literary journal of the Veterans Writing Project (October 2014)
“Mourners of the Dead” in Home of the Brave: Somewhere in the Sand, edited by Jeffery Hess (Press 53 2013)

Brooke King in the News

No One Wants to See a Woman Hurt”: Veteran-Writer Brooke King on the Military Spouse Book Review 5/27/2015
My Redeployment Packing Checklist“: Interview with host Justin Hudnall on KPBS San Diego, 5/5/2015