Recently I explained my inspiration for writing my first novel, Paws on the Ground. So I was amped up to write it, ready to go but realized quickly I had no friggin clue how to write a book. The longest document I’d ever written prior to my novel was my master’s thesis which of course I filled with graphs and charts to fill the pages. So I did what any rational person would do when they wanted to find out about something….I Googled it!
I spent every free moment for several days reading about processes for writing a book. If you’ve ever done this then you probably already now the following:
-There is a lot of advice out there
-Everyone has their own methods for writing a book
-Many processes are contradictory
So with this in mind I looked for common themes and … Read More »
This is Part II of The Marc and Anax series. You may wish to read Part I first.
Marc wakes from his sleep and his first thoughts are of his son. He’s excited to go to work. He knows that it will be a full day of training, playing, and loving his best friend (his son), Military Working Dog Anax.
He rushes to prepare for work with thoughts of his joyful day ahead. Sure there are challenges through the day, but in the end he will have Anax with him. Marc and Anax…..an unstoppable force.
That’s how it used to be before Anax was shot on patrol in Afghanistan and lost a leg. Now things have changed. Anax is still in his old kennel, still barks with excitement when he sees his “dad,” but Marc knows it is different even if … Read More »
The angry offender got out of his truck and charged at the military police officer. The officer ordered him to stop. The angry man ignored the officer’s command and charged at him.
Without hesitation the army military police officer opened the back door to his patrol vehicle with an automatic button clipped to his belt. His four legged partner, Uti, bounded from the truck and instantly started to growl, showing her long fangs.
I shivered as I stared at the intimidating four legged army military police officer.
“Stop and put your hands on your head or I will sic my dog on you,” the officer said.
Drool slung from Uti’s mouth as she danced around barking ferociously and waiting for the command to attack.
The angry man hesitated at the sight of the animal’s long fangs but didn’t back down. Neither did Uti.
The officer thought through his choices. … Read More »
Who was that dog on the mission to kill Bin Laden? Cairo, the famed Bin Laden hunter? Do we have a sighting? Who is this Cairo character and why has his image captivated the world?
Cairo is now synonymous with the daring raid on May 1, 2011 by Seal Team Six to take down America’s public enemy #1, Osama Bin Laden. The Bin Laden raid is the event that drew widespread national awareness to our four-legged service members. Did Cairo lead the Seals to Bin Laden in that compound? Did Cairo have to “take any one out” with his mouthful of teeth and fangs? We might never know, but we yearn to learn the full story.
This isn’t a picture of Cairo but, like Cairo, this is a Belgian Malinois, Multi Purpose Canine (MPC) and a Seal Team Member. This picture is of Seal 18 conducting a demonstration.
Seal Teams are elite members … Read More »
Recently someone asked me how I felt about the United States withdrawing from Iraq. I wasn’t really sure how to respond. I guess I really hadn’t thought much about it. For me Iraq has been an afterthought for many years. My focus, much like the Army, has been on Afghanistan. Since I’ve spent plenty of time in Iraq, I suppose I should have an opinion on this topic, so here goes.
As a professional soldier, my charter isn’t to debate the merit of our nation’s war. I’m simply a cog in the wheel of a high speed locomotive. That locomotive, the United States Army, has a clear mission: to fight and win America’s wars. Period.
When the government says we are done, then we are done, regardless of what our military leadership believes. The military does what the civilians who run … Read More »
What made you want to write a book?
I’ve been asked this question countless times over the past year and my silent responses range from “What you don’t think I could” to “Why not” to “I was inspired to do so.” My actual answer depends on my mood that day, how the question was phrased, and the person’s tone. Before I can answer that question I think you should learn a little a few things about me, things most people don’t know.
I’ve always loved to write and always did well in school in writing. (Math is a different story.) Of course my grammar always lacked and my inability to complete term papers until the night before they were due had an effect on my grades. In reflection, as I constantly research grammar rules on the internet, I do wish I … Read More »
During direct combat with the enemy, the fog of war is capable of consuming you. There are times when things slow down or speed up, periods in which you don’t remember your own actions. And then there are impressions during the fight that are ingrained in your brain forever.
Your thoughts are rarely of yourself but rather with your fellow warriors, especially if one of those warriors is like a son to you. Specialist Marc Whittaker found himself in that exact situation with his best friend and son, patrol explosive detector dog, Anax.
A relatively routine security mission? Maybe. But this is Afghanistan where nothing is routine. The enemy always has a vote and on this day the enemy was determined to ensure their voice was heard.
Withering fire erupted around Marc and Anax, forcing them to fall back as bullets whizzed by them. … Read More »
I was talking to a friend recently who mentioned that her brother-in-law was planning to deploy to Afghanistan next year. She was befuddled about why he had sought out and volunteered for deployment to a combat zone.
Why would someone volunteer to leave his family and place himself in harm’s way? Why would anyone in his right mind voluntarily go to a place where every day you wake up not knowing if this is your last day on this earth?
No, he’s not crazy. He is just displaying one of the values we expect of our service members, Selfless Service.
Wikipedia defines selfless service as “a commonly used term to denote a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it.”
I hear a lot of rhetoric about service to the nation and such, but to … Read More »
On the first night of May 2011, two Black Hawk helicopters took off from Afghanistan on a top-secret mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. The Black Hawks, which had been modified to disguise their heat signatures and mask them from radar, were bound for Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was suspected of hiding. The crew included 23 members of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, members of the Army’s select Night Stalkers regiment, and a dog named Cairo.
It was a dark, moonless evening—“low loom,” in military parlance. Cairo, a seventy-pound Belgian Malinois, sat on the floor of the second chopper, huddled among eleven SEALs and an interpreter.
He likely wore a lightweight tactical vest made with dual Kevlar panels, which were designed to withstand everything from knife attacks to shrapnel, and an infrared camera that could transmit images back to … Read More »