Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Support the Task Force Dagger Foundation

My name is Steve Newman and I am the Author of a book titled, “The Night Eagles Soared.” On the cover you will notice that I have used the pen name S. B. Newman and I did that for a reason. You see, there are a million and a half Steve Newman’s in the world and they have all written or composed a poem, a song, a book or a movie. I had to find a way to differentiate myself from the crowd. That is why I used my initials as a pen name and they stand for Steven Boyd Newman.

I haven’t been a writer my entire life. I am a veteran…a twenty year veteran of the United States Army Special Forces and I have become a writer since my retirement from the Green Berets in 2003…after having spent close to a year in Afghanistan.

It was during that time that I came up with the idea for the premise and the title for my book. We used to say that “You have to fly with the Turkey’s before you can soar like an Eagle.” The title also calls upon the memory of that night…that night that was not unlike the Doolittle raid during WWII. That was the night the United States first struck back against our enemies. The book draws it premise from that night we struck back against those who had attacked our great nation on 9-11.

This is my first book, and I have the sequel titled “Burnt Yellow and Red” going through the production process as we speak. I’ve also started work on a third book that hasn’t been titled as of yet. It will be the third book in a series of three. I am also currently working on a screen play based on the story in the “The Night Eagles Soared.”

Often I am asked why I wrote the book and for me I know that there were many reasons. Deep down inside I knew that I had a story to tell, a story worth telling and so I put it in writing. And…even though it is told in first person narrative, the story isn’t about me…it is about all of us who have served at any given point in history. It is about the progression of a young man as he becomes a warrior who leads others into combat.

Today our military is an all volunteer force of young men and women who have been fighting a shooting war for over ten years. The hardships endured…are no less difficult or violent…than in any other conflict in our nation’s history. The difference today is that…this war has a different and some would say…more difficult setting.

One thing I hope that folks will take away from my work is that even though these volunteers become warriors…they are still human beings…with a heart and soul… just like everybody else.

In the following scene from the book, titled, “The Heart of a Soldier,” Mike the protagonist has just performed his cherry blast right out of Jump School. He has performed a Tailgate C-130…Full Combat Equipment…Static Line Parachute operation into Camp Mackall to start the Special Forces Qualification Course. He lands on the drop zone and we pick up the story from there.

(Excerpt from the book, page 44)

I laid there for a second, eyes closed, trying to collect my senses. One of the instructors began yelling, “Get the hell off my drop zone, Airborne.” And the C-130 swooped in, landing as it screamed past me only a hundred feet away. The roar of its engines was amplified as the sound reflected off of the tall pines that surrounded the airfield. The plane spun around, lowering its ramp, ready for another load.

My platoon was forming up. The sergeant gained accountability as we turned in our parachutes and reported back. Once we were all together, we marched back to the camp, singing slowly in a low baritone voice, keeping rhythm with our steps. The sun slowly sank behind us, below the trees, as we marched through the dust and into the shadows.

The heart of a soldier is the soul of a man. He is a knight without armor in a war-torn land. A fast gun for hire is an SF soldier. SF soldier, SF soldier, where have you been? Around the world and back again!

Our first day in the Special Forces was almost over as we marched in the darkness down the hill and into the camp. There were lights on in the large classroom; and the mercury light on the telephone pole outside the camp headquarters was already on, lighting up the gravel parking lot but blocking out visibility of anything beyond that.

That is how life is isn’t it? It is hard to see beyond the light that shines on the moment we are in. Through my writing, I also hope to shine some light on the legacy we leave behind as soldiers and how we all come to that point in our lives, in our lives as warriors when we realize … that we all get out of the military, eventually…for one reason or the other.

It is at this juncture in our lives that we must learn to reconcile our warrior spirit with the reality of being a civilian…with the reality of our new capabilities. That is when we must ask ourselves this question.

“What is it that I can do with the rest of my life that will benefit those I love and care about the most for generations to come?”

It doesn’t matter how old you are. If we can answer that question, we will know exactly what it is we are meant to do with the rest of our lives. The answer will give us a goal that we can strive to accomplish a little at a time by doing something every day in order to achieve it.

I’ve heard it said that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is today. Think about that for a second?

It is impossible to become a huge oak tree over night…it takes time. If that tree hasn’t already been planted, if it wasn’t planted twenty years ago, then it needs to be planted today and that is why I support the VFW and Task Force Dagger Foundation.

Both organizations are planting seeds of hope! Seeds of hope that will enable warriors like us to accomplish great things with the rest of our lives…seeds of hope that enable us all to see beyond our present circumstance…to visualize a future that will ensure a legacy of pride and hope for those we love and care about the most for generations to come.

God Bless our nations’ finest…God bless our warriors…God bless the VFW…God bless the Task Force Dagger Foundation! (Pause) Thank you and God bless you all!

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