Woman Veteran Author Book Corner Highlight - September 2021
Dianna Marie Good Sky was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is 13/16ths Native American Indian. 13/16 parts Ojibwe Native to be exact. She is a registered member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa located in Northern Minnesota and spent most of her young life there. Until her Navy dad took the whole family along with him to his duty stations, after Vietnam of course. Dianna joined the Navy herself when she was 18 and retired as a Navy Chief Petty Officer in 1995. While she was finding ways to heal from her own military-related trauma, she discovered that writing had beautiful healing properties and that maybe others could benefit from her stories. Besides, she’s Native American and storytelling comes naturally to her. She has not won awards yet, but, she has won the hearts of those who read her stories. She looks forward to adding her awards here. Thank you/MiiGwetch.
“Warrior Spirit Rising.” Warrior Spirit Rising is the inspiring true account of Gene Goodsky, as told through the eyes of his oldest daughter, Dianna, a Native American author. Gene was raised in the North Woods of Minnesota, on the tribal lands of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Surviving years of cultural genocide, racism, and the Vietnam War left him broken—battling severe PTSD and alcohol abuse. In this stunning tale of Native American perseverance, Good Sky unravels the history of her father, her family, and her people, and the near-death experience that would change their lives forever. With both wit and honesty, she explores the devastating loss of heritage that has impacted generations of Native Americans, and how the powerful choice to forgive can leave a legacy.
I took an early retirement from the Navy under the TERA program in 1995, after serving 15 years. I wrote Warrior Spirit Rising, a Native American Spiritual Journey, as part of my personal healing journey through PTSD from MST. The book is my dad’s story, told through my eyes. Writing the story not only chronicles his transformation from a drunk to a Spiritual Healer but you also can watch my disgust turn to pride and my anger turn to joy as the story unfolds. It is touching, enlightening and brutally honest with a bit of not often talked about history about Native Americans. Ultimately, it is a story of love, faith, and forgiveness.
What is your full name? Dianna Good Sky
What city and state do you reside in? Chesapeake, VA
Where do you currently receive your health care (VA Medical Facility, Vet Center, or Community Based Outpatient Clinic)? Richmond, VA
What are you doing now, significant moment(s) during your service and other unique information? I am a full-time author and multipreneur.
What was your Military branch, career field, and years of service? Navy, Oceanographic Systems Technician (OT), 1980-1995.
What were your tours, deployments, and campaigns (OIF, OEF, Vietnam, Gulf War, etc.)? US NAVFAC Brawdy, Wales; Naval Ocean Processing Facility Ford Island, Hawaii; Commander, Oceanographic System, US Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, VA.
What notable commendations did you receive (Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Achieve Medal, Combat Action Achievement, etc.)? Two Navy Commendation Medals
What was your inspiration for becoming an author, or writing this book (for instance, a childhood dream, a significant life experience, a person)? I’ve always wanted to write a book; I just didn’t know-or have the courage- to write. Until a date rape video on Facebook triggered a Military Sexual Assault (it wasn’t a date, btw) and I found myself stuck on the couch, paralyzed. Writing became one of my healing modalities, as I was knee deep in the throes of PTSD. However, I was still afraid, or couldn’t rather, tell my own story. SO I told my dad’s story, about his own PTSD from Vietnam, and his amazing transformation after a spiritual event.
How has your military experience shaped your creativity or how you express yourself? It was while I was active duty that I first realized that many do not know, or understand, Native Americans, or know our story. It made me want to help others understand.
What advice would you give other women Veterans who may be considering becoming an author? Leave your fear behind, learn all you can about the craft and hit the self-publish button. There is great freedom in doing so.
How do you believe that women Veteran authors can be instrumental in shaping society’s understanding of women Veterans’ military experience and their contributions? I believe that we all contribute to breaking the glass ceiling.
What were some of your obstacles and challenges in writing this book? Since it was a self-publishing labor of love, it was very hard to impose personal deadlines, and just to show up on some days. I had to keep focused on getting to the end.
What are your recommendations for illustrating, book cover selection, and the publishing process? Hire professionals.
What is one significant thing we should know about you? I am a survivor, and I wanted to heal so so badly that I made sure that I made choices that were good for me.
How has writing this book helped you? It’s a sense of accomplishment but reading the book reviews has made it very clear that people DO want to know more and it has given me the courage to write my story.
What is your favorite quote? “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
If you could choose one woman from any point in time to share a meal, who would she be? Oprah. Because she is a media powerhouse and I want more people to learn about Native America and Native American Veterans.