Nanette grew up in Alexandria, Virginia in the shadow of the nation’s capital. After moving to the West Coast to attend nursing school at the University of San Francisco, she met and married her husband Mario Sagastume, a newly-discharged combat Marine who served in Vietnam in 1966-7. Mario, like so many others, not only battled PTSD but endured the tidal wave of hostility and bitterness that had become the social mantra of that time.
Throughout their marriage, they coped with the effects of Mario’s post-combat stress while raising their family in Northern California. When their son joined the Marines and was deployed to Iraq after 9/11, Nanette began a support group for local military families which still meets regularly.
As a parent of ‘one who serves,’ Nanette became acutely aware that the general public often did not understand the experience of military parents. While military spouses often live near bases and are supported by those who share their experiences, parents are frequently more isolated and have few resources to help them. In the same way the local support group was a lifeline to parents, Nanette hopes her transparency about all the aspects of her experience will increase awareness and appreciation of the complex stresses parents endure when a child is deployed. Parents everywhere should find comfort in her shared emotions, and relief in the realization they are not alone in their feelings!
Nanette’s experience of living through two unpopular wars as a military wife and mother ignited a passion for helping other military families and veterans. After retiring as a nurse practitioner from California State University Chico, Nanette studied to become a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner in 2009. Her knowledge of healing techniques has been invaluable to military families and veterans, whom she treats pro-bono at a number of Stand Down events and her husband’s annual reunion of Vietnam Veterans of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines.
Nanette and her husband live in Chico, California where she maintains a private Healing Touch practice. They have four grown children and (so far) nine grandchildren.