Owen McNamara said "there is no gap to bridge" when it comes to helping other veterans. He didn't see a generation gap and he saw no difference between wars fought 40 years ago and ongoing wars.
"Warfare is warfare," he said.
McNamara died Oct. 25, 2015, at the age of 65. He grew up in Fitchburg, Mass. McNamara credited the Brookfield Institute and the Rev. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor for helping him through the PTSD he continued to fight. He wanted to pass it on. "All we have to do is look in each other's eyes," he said.
"Returning Vietnam veterans were kind of neglecting the issues of current returning vets," McNamara said. Bringing in the spiritual aspect is what helped him help others, he said.
While McNamara grew up in a Catholic home, he later leaned on maintaining the spiritual principles in his life more than religious traditions. A lot of that is due to his decades-long participation in a 12-step program. He was sober for more than 29 years. He especially needed spiritual sustanence when two of his sons went off to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan. "It re-exposed me to the trauma and fear of what I went through," he said. "If I didn't have the spiritual guide and one day at a time, I never would have made it through."
Owen McNamara received the Medal of Honor in Jan. 2013. Read about it here.