Fiction Meets the Real World
I think reality is what gives fiction emotional weight. Many characters in this novel wanted to help the women of rural Afghanistan. The real world contains an organization that successfully does that, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. Every day, 22,000 doctors, nurses, midwives, logisticians, water experts, and other professionals working for Doctors Without Borders/MSF provide emergency medical services to people caught in crises in more than sixty countries. They delivered more than 110,000 babies and performed more than 50,000 surgeries in 2009. By 2012, those numbers had risen to 185,400 babies and 78,500 surgical procedures. These medical providers are true heroes.
When my heroine was wounded in Afghanistan, her family stayed at a Fisher House in Germany. The Fisher House Foundation has built sixty houses (and growing) near military medical facilities in the United States and one in the United Kingdom. They provide free lodging for families of wounded soldiers, kitchens, space for children to play outside, and a vital community of other families also supporting wounded warriors. At Dover Air Force Base, the Families of the Fallen Fisher House provides free lodging for families waiting to repatriate the remains of their loved ones. The United States’ fight in Afghanistan may be winding down. It may be out of the news. But the need for long and extensive medical care doesn’t go away when the logisticians pack up their last containers.
My family will be donating to both charities from The Soldier proceeds. If you want to know more, I invite you to visit the charities’ websites.