This month’s author is Navy Veteran Dianna Good Sky. She took an early retirement from the Navy in 1995, after serving 15 years. She wrote “Warrior Spirit Rising, a Native American Spiritual Journey,” as part of her personal healing journey through PTSD from military sexual trauma. The book is her dad’s story, told through her eyes. Writing the story not only chronicles his transformation from a person with alcohol use disorder to a Spiritual Healer but people also can watch her disgust turn to pride and her anger turn to joy as the story unfolds. It is touching, enlightening and brutally honest with a bit of not often talked about history about Native Americans. Ultimately, it is a story of love, faith and forgiveness.
What are you doing now, significant moment(s) during your service and other unique information?
I am a full-time author and multipreneur
What was your Military branch, career field, and years of service?
Navy, Oceanographic Systems Technician (OT), 1980-1995
What were your tours, deployments, and campaigns (OIF, OEF, Vietnam, Gulf War, etc.)?
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, Brawdy, Wales
Naval Ocean Processing Facility Ford Island, Hawaii
Commander, Oceanographic System, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia
What notable commendations did you receive (Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Achieve Medal, Combat Action Achievement, etc.)?
Two Navy Commendation Medals.
What was your fondest or proudest memory during your military service?
Earning OT of the year and making the rank of chief petty officer.
What was your inspiration for becoming an author, or writing this book (for instance, a childhood dream, a significant life experience, a person)?
I’ve always wanted to write a book; I just didn’t know-or have the courage to write until a date rape video on Facebook triggered a military sexual assault, and I found myself stuck on the couch, paralyzed. Writing became one of my healing modalities, as I was knee deep in the throes of PTSD. However, I was still afraid, or couldn’t rather, tell my own story. So I told my dad’s story, about his own PTSD from Vietnam, and his amazing transformation after a spiritual event.
How has your military experience shaped your creativity or how you express yourself?
It was while I was active duty that I first realized that many do not know, or understand Native Americans or know our story. It made me want to help others understand.
What advice would you give other women Veterans who may be considering becoming an author?
Leave your fear behind, learn all you can about the craft and hit the self-publish button. There is great freedom in doing so.
How do you believe that women Veteran authors can be instrumental in shaping society’s understanding of women Veterans’ military experience and their contributions?
I believe that we all contribute to breaking the glass ceiling.
What were some of your obstacles and challenges in writing this book?
Since it was a self-publishing labor of love, it was very hard to impose personal deadlines, and just to show up on some days. I had to keep focused on getting to the end.
What are your recommendations for illustrating, book cover selection, and the publishing process?
What is one significant thing we should know about you?
I am a survivor, and I wanted to heal so so badly that I made sure that I made choices that were good for me.
How has writing this book helped you?
It’s a sense of accomplishment but reading the book reviews has made it very clear that people do want to know more and it has given me the courage to write my story.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
If you could choose one woman from any point in time to share a meal, who would she be?
Oprah [Winfrey], because she is a media powerhouse, and I want more people to learn about Native America and Native American Veterans.