Jan 19 2015

The Truth behind the Legend

Chris Kyle 1It’s about time I started blogging about my boys, again, and the movie AMERICAN SNIPER, has given me something good to write about. I didn’t know what to expect from the movie about former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. After reading his memoir by the same name and seeing some poor reviews, I thought I might be let down. But, oh, no. Folks, AMERICAN SNIPER is just as fabulous a movie as LONE SURVIVOR was. It depicts a very realistic picture of the brutality of war and what our service people have endured fighting in the Middle East. I have to give Bradley Cooper huge kudos for impersonating Kyle to such an extent that Kyle’s widow, Taya, said the resemblance was “eerie”.

BradleyasChrisWhat I love so much about Chris Kyle is that he was larger than life. There are stories about things he claimed to have done–in addition to killing 160 terrorists–that may or may not be true. We’ll probably never know, but does it matter? He occupies a place in our psyche that is hungry for heroes. One of his most memorable quotes, in my opinion, is when he talked about the hardest part of getting out of the military: “Missing my boys. Missing being around them in the action. That’s your whole life, every day for years. I hate to say it, but when you’re back and you’re just walking around a mall or something, you feel like a pussy.” These words underscore the importance of brotherhood. Once a SEAL, always a SEAL.

In spite of his few flaws, Chris had a giant heart, and thanks to AMERICAN SNIPER, everyone knows what an amazing human being he was. We need more heroes just like him.

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Oct 17 2014

Hero Reunites Soldiers with Beloved Strays

Hero Reunites Soldiers with the Dogs they Loved

Every year, CNN names a dozen or more heroic people and asks for your vote to pick the winner. Even though CNN has quite a lineup of remarkable individuals, the one who has my vote is Pen Farthing, a formal Royal Marine sergeant who created a nonprofit organization that reunites stray dogs in Afghanistan with the soldiers who befriended. Soldiers leaving Afghanistan can now go to the website http://www.nowzad.org and apply to get “their dogs” spayed/neutered and shipped home to them. The bond between man and dog is so profound. Many of these dogs provided therapy and normalcy to soldiers operating in a stressful environment. Likewise, the dogs benefited from being loved and cared for by the soldiers. It was a win-win situation in Afghanistan, but Pen Farthing’s determination to keep soldiers and dogs together forever is a stroke of brilliance and compassion. Please vote for him HERE and look for the winner to be announced Dec. 7 during “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” (8pm ET).

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Oct 12 2014

Injured Marine Major wins Archery at Invictus

He did it! Several weeks ago I blogged about injured Marine Major Richard (not Eric) Burkett, who was headed to the Invictus games in London to compete. Well, Richard has won the gold medal! Good for him. The Invictus games were the brainchild of Prince Harry, who invited wounded warriors from all over the world to compete in Olympic-style games. My thanks goes to Jay in the UK for telling me of Richard’s victory and setting me straight on his first name.

Injured US Marine wins gold for archery at Invictus Games, UK

Injured US Marine wins gold for archery at Invictus Games, UK

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Oct 01 2014

Wounded Warrior Games Good for our Veterans

Warrior Games 2013How does a wounded warrior channel his innately competitive spirit? The Warrior Games, taking place now in Colorado Spring, Colorado, offer injured veterans an outlet. Competing in Paralympic-style events gives veterans a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and a chance to enjoy the camaraderie they were used to in the military. Twenty-one-year-old Lance Corporal Duncan Mathis fell 75 feet down an unmarked well while on a nighttime mission with his Marine unit in Afghanistan. He suffered multiple bones fractures to his legs and ankles, his shoulder and arm. After 17 surgeries and a yearlong stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mathis is now stationed at Camp Lejeune in the Wounded Warrior Battalion East. He heard about the Warrior Games there and signed up to participate. Teams represent the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy/ Coast Guard, Air Force and Special Operations. Mathis said in a phone interview, “It’s been a phenomenal experience.” He has mostly enjoyed the camaraderie with the other service members who have so much in common. We should have even more events like this to help our injured veterans with keep their spirits up!

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Sep 21 2014

Those Heroic Dogs

I can’t seem to get enough of heroic dogs these days. Thanks to all of my readers who bought LOOK AGAIN, A Novella, I was able to send a nice little check to Hero Dogs (based in Brookville, MD), and I will do the same thing in October, November, and December. Hopefully, our donations will provide the training and care needed for one or more disabled veterans to get their service dog.

Speaking of service dogs, I have two more heroic dogs to tell you about. Their stories can be read in these two biographies:

First is HAATCHI and LITTLE B. Haatchi was an Anatolian Shepherd puppy who was left for dead on railroad tracks. Even though he was terribly disabled from being struck by a train, a loving couple gave him a home and introduced him to Little B, their son who was born with a rare chromosomal disorder. “Wendy Holden’s Haatchi & Little B is the true story of an astonishing little boy, a very special dog, and the inspiring, inseparable pair that they make together.” You can buy your copy at Amazon.

 

 

The nTrusting Calvinext biography is TRUSTING CALVIN, the story of a chocolate lab taken in by Holocaust survivor, Max Edelman. Max had seen Nazi-trained shepherds kill and eat his fellow Jews.Beaten by guards during his captivity, he suffered damage to his eyes, but he survived the Holocaust and went on to live a successful life in America. Blindness followed his retirement, and he came to need a service dog. That’s when Calvin came into his life. But dogs like Calvin can sense deep-down mistrust, and it took the dog saving Max’s life for Max to understand the depth of canine devotion. As Amazon describes it, “Here is the remarkable, touching story of a man who survived history and the dog that unlocked his heart.”

Is it any wonder I love dogs so much? Read these books, and you will, too!

 

 

 

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