Koa Books

Veterans of War
Veterans of Peace

Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace
Author Biographies
(alphabetical order - click on letter)


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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | W | Y | Z


LOUISE AMLONG
Pacific waves lulled me to sleep as a baby and I took my first swimming lessons in the rollers of the Atlantic. I remember my father’s advice: “When a big wave knocks you down and pulls you under, relax and let the water take you. You’ll pop back up. Struggling will only make it worse.”

I graduated from college with a degree in wildlife science and began working as a biologist in remote field camps in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, surrounded by the clear blue ocean. From Hawai‘i, I moved to the mountains of Idaho and lived in a two-room cabin buried in a sea of snow in winter.

The first excruciating attempts to untangle my deep silence and give voice to the fears and griefs of a military officer’s daughter began at a veterans’ writing workshop with Maxine Hong Kingston and Thich Nhat Hanh. This story and the healing that continues would not have been possible without the compassionate support of my partner. His willingness to tell his own stories of Vietnam gave me the courage to seek out other veterans and, with their encouragement, begin to give voice to the suffering of the families left at home.

One night while I was on watch aboard a sailboat crossing the Pacific Ocean, a blue whale surfaced alongside the boat, and rolled one enormous eye out of the water to have a look at me. I gazed into the whale’s eye and knew in that moment that I had never truly been alone.