Brian Oldham’s life was forever changed when the mailman read the draft notice to him on the front porch of his Fullerton, CA home in 1966. Oldham served five years in combat in Vietnam and the war has never left him. He was not able to integrate back into college life and struggled with failed relationships. He had difficulty holding down a job that required him to take direction and work with a team.
After wandering for several years and caring for his dying father, he settled in New Mexico and found used his fitness and combat skills in marathon running and extreme fitness events, evolving to a successful coaching career. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was initially studied around 1971 but not fully understood until veteran’s started returning from the Middle East conflicts of the 1990’s. Oldham moved into the financial services industry where he could work independently and earn a living for his family. The gift of fatherhood changed his life and began the steps of healing and reconnecting with humanity. Today, he devotes himself to advocacy in his community and writing fictional stories with culturally relevant topics, always with a veteran protagonist, to show veteran’s struggles. He lives with his partner in many places around California, until she retires, crediting his healing to finally having someone in his life that would listen to his war story without judgment or condemnation and believes it is so important for veterans to have a safe listener so they can begin to heal and move past the horror, guilt and shame that damages veterans for life.
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Where to buy in print
The Consequence of War
by Brian Oldham
It’s been two years since Elijah McCoy got home from the war in Afghanistan, but he hasn’t been at peace. Living in a hidden apartment in the back of a friend’s warehouse, Elijah works as a union stevedore on the Oakland, California, docks by day while plying a second, secret trade at night. The dock foreman calls him an “executioner,” though Elijah prefers the term “redeemer.”
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