I waited on pins and needles as my new editor, John Paine, read my novel. I was worried he would read it and tell me that is was garbage. Or that I couldn’t write. Yes, my self- doubt was kicking in again.
To occupy my time I delved into platform development. I started building my own Word Press site and writing blog posts as they came to me. (I’ll talk about the importance of platform-building in future posts.)
Finally after about month John was able to read my book and provide feedback. We talked for an hour and a half about the book. He followed up with a detailed written four-page editorial report. First off—he didn’t tell me the novel stunk or my writing was horrible. OK, so that was a good start.
John told me that the book’s concept was tremendous, the … Read More »
I love this video for the content but it truly resonates with me on a much deeper level. The video was filmed at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Wilson in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan.
When I oversaw the dog program for Afghanistan, FOB Wilson was where the plea for additional dog teams originated. That plea and the sequence of events afterwards forever changed my life.
By the end of my tour in Afghanistan we had flooded hundreds of “Paws on Ground” to FOB Wilson and the surrounding bases. FOB Wilson was the epicenter for the 2011-2011 fight for the dreaded Arghandab River Valley.
FOB Wilson and the Arghandab River Valley is also where a large portion of my first novel, Paws on the Ground, is set.
I’ll never forget flying in a helicopter from Kandahar Airbase to FOB Wilson and taking notes about the scenery … Read More »
Military Working Dog Handler Leading Aircraftwoman Samantha Vassallo and Military Working dog ‘Ally’ practice winching during continuation training at RAAF Tindal. CHC Helicopters and RAAF Tindal Security Police dog section conducting winch training, the training provides both SAR and RAAF Security Police a chance to maintain and increase their Search and Rescue skills. (Photo by LAC Terry Hartin)
Military Working Dog Handler Aircraftman Lloyd Burbage and Military Working Dog ‘Khan’, practice winching techniques before attempting the real thing. CHC Helicopters and RAAF Tindal Security Police dog section conducting winch training, the training provides both SAR and RAAF Security Police a chance to maintain and increase their Search and Rescue skills. (Photo by LAC Terry Hartin)
Leading Aircraftwoman Heather Shepherd and Kruger, her military working dog, spend time together at RAAF Base Darwin. Military Working Dog (MWD) Kruger and Leading Aircraftwoman … Read More »
“Whittaker, you need to spend less time with Anax. If you want to pass certification next month, then you better spend some overtime with Dark. We need you to pass certification. We can’t use you or Dark with you guys not being certified. We’re getting hammered with missions to support. ”
Specialist Marc Whitaker didn’t want to spend more time with Military Working Dog Dark though. He wanted to spend his time with his best friend, Military Working Dog Anax. The dog that took a bullet for Marc in Afghanistan. The dog that lost a leg for him.
The dog Marc was awaiting for the adoption paperwork to process so he could take him home to Texas.
“Roger, … Read More »
Is your literary conference having a Pitchapalooza or similar pitching event? Do you have an opportunity to pitch yourself to a literary agent in a one-on one-interview? Do you want to learn how to pitch yourself right into an introduction to a literary agent or a request for a submission? Follow these 10 steps to blow your audience away with your pitch!
Step 1: Participate!
Seriously, you can’t win unless you drag your butt up there on that podium or to that chair across the desk from that agent. Give it a whirl. I know you’re nervous and that’s all right. Here is a little secret: everyone else is as well. Afraid to be embarrassed or humiliated? Don’t be! Take control of your fears and insecurities. What do you have to lose?
Step 2: Don’t wait until the night before to write … Read More »
Moxie, a military working dog with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, escapes the heat under a truck’s shade during Large Scale Exercise-1, Javelin Thrust 2012, July 11. The newly activated battalion conducted training exercises at the Combat Center in support of Javelin Thrust.
Cpl. Dwight Jackson, a working dog handler with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, cools off his dog, Hugo, during Large Scale Exercise-1, Javelin Thrust 2012, July 11.
Marines with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion let their military working dogs rest in the shade during Large Scale Exercise-1, Javelin Thrust 2012, July 11.
Cpl. Dwight Jackson, a military working dog handler with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, … Read More »
This isn’t my story but I thought it was really cool. In many of my posts I discuss the challenges of validation for our dog teams. Remember Noah and Chuck’s challenges with validation?
Every team must complete validation when they first get into country. Validation is a series of trials to test a team’s proficiency in the local environment.
I’ve seen validation first hand and it is grueling and stressful. This story provides great insight into dog team validation.
Story by Tech. Sgt. Stephen Hudson
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — His nose is working overtime. Seeking and scanning the dirt for the unseen. Aaron, a Military Working Dog, and his handler, Air Force Staff Sgt. Larry Harris, work their pattern back and forth, while Harris gives Aaron’s long leash slack letting it drag it the ground. Harris gives his commands of “Seek” followed … Read More »
Did you read Part I of this series yet?
So what is a patriotic citizen of Bosnian Herzegovina to do when her country is paralyzed from landmines? Go find the mines and remove them. Isn’t that what we would all do?
According to Wikipedia there have been 498 deaths and 1210 serious injuries from land mines in Bosnia Herzegovina since 1992. I have read other reports that say that the number of land mine casualties may be closer to 5000.
As I mentioned in my last post, Danica Dada Djikov was a child of this war. Danica’s hometown of Drabinje, Bosnia Herzegovina and the surrounding countryside was littered with mines after the Bosnian War.
The great majority of families felt the effects of these landmines. Danica was no different. She lost several close members of her family to land mines. She also … Read More »
Lucca, a 8-year-old Belgian Malinois military working dog, sits in front of a Marine Corps flag at Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 2. Lucca deployed twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan where she was injured by an improvised explosive device.
The injury led to the amputation of her left front leg and retirement from military service. Cpl. Juan M. Rodriguez, miliary dog handler with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, is scheduled to escort the veteran K-9, July 5, from the base to Finland where she will reside with Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Willingham, Lucca’s original trainer.
During a turnover at O-Hare International Airport in Chicago, Ill., Lucca will be honored during a ceremony by American Airlines, which will provide transportation to Rodriguez and Lucca through its partnership with Air Compassion for Veterans.
ACV is an organization that provides medically related … Read More »
I hate war. I hate death. I hate funeral homes, wakes, and cemeteries. Heck, I even hate hospitals. When I was a young officer, wearing my dress uniform and attending ceremonies was fun because it always seemed to be about celebration. For the past 11 years it has symbolized death and tragedy. Over the past 11 years I’ve been to way too many memorial services for my fallen brothers.
Last Friday I buried my 40-year-old brother in my hometown of Whiteman, Massachusetts. My bother Brendan left behind a wife and three small children. In February of 2011 he was diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to his lymph node and brain.
After I stoically delivered my eulogy, someone asked me if I had ice going through my veins. I had some choice words to say but opted for a simple statement: “No, … Read More »