Joanne Nesbitt, Author
My family is very important to me and I enjoy each and every one of them. My sons each have two children and one of my grandsons has two children! Seems as if we like the number two!
I was married to my husband for fifty years. Yes, I was a child bride! He was in the Navy and retired after 20 years. Then we both worked and retired from IBM. When IBM reorganized, I continued on with my education and went on to receive a Ph.D. Then it was off to work for a college. I became the Academic Dean and then the College President.
During that time my husband became ill and was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I left my job to take care of him. He survived three years. It was then that I discovered the terrible words, Agent Orange. I began my quest to investigate if his ship was exposed to Agent Orange. Seven years later, I won my case with the VA and the entire ship was granted benefits for that period of time. I interviewed many sailors in order to gain the information I needed. It was then that PTSD became another familiar illness. As I spoke to these sailors, who were 18 years old when they entered the U.S. Navy, they all started out with this phrase, “I’ve never told anyone this”. I wrote the book because I was compelled to tell the story they told me. I had to “pay it forward” and so I began writing.
I am sadly retiring from teaching at a college. I will miss my students terribly. But again, it is a form of passing on some of the knowledge I’ve acquired in my lifetime. Now it is time for me to retire from teaching and write! I have been very fortunate throughout my life. My mentors showed me the way to succeed and it is for that reason that I am so grateful and feel the need to pay it forward.