Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Foreword for Burnt "Yellow and Red"

A few years ago, I was invited to spend some time with our wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The yellow ribbon project, through a dear friend of mine, made this opportunity come to fruition. While visiting my fellow brothers in arms, I was struck at the apex of my heart by three who had at that time served several iterations in the Global War on Terror.

The first one I was able to visit was a young Sergeant First Class, a Special Forces Warrior, who on patrol in Afghanistan was struck in the back with a round from a Soviet Machine gun. The round tore through his shoulder and exited from his left elbow causing considerable damage. While visiting with him and his mother we talked at length about our craft. During my visit we were graced with the appearance of Gary Sinese, the actor who earned his initial fame as Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forest Gump. Mr. Sinese spends a great deal of his off camera time supporting our troops through the USO, as he was on this day. What struck so true to me was the comment my friend made on her observations of that visit, which we all appreciated greatly. Her comment was he wasn’t interested in seeing the actor, he was more interested in spending time with you. Yes the brotherhood, behind closed doors and in the open we carry a very special bond. We don’t even need to know one another at initial meeting because we already know each other deeply through the bond we share.

The second was a young Hispanic sergeant and his young wife. This young soldier had the soul of a lion, he had lost most of the function of one leg but retained the spirit of a warrior working hard to get back into the fight, not concerned about his wounds, but concerned about getting back to help his brothers carry on the fight for freedom. His face sparkled as he relayed to me how he had walked to the nurses’ station that morning for the first time; a trip that was no more than 30 feet. And throughout the tribulations he was suffering, he could only muster a smile and can do attitude while being supported by his loving wife.

The last one was my visit to spend time and prayers with a very special young man. He did not know I was there, you see he was in intensive care having suffered from a bullet wound through his pelvic cavity and into his abdomen doing considerable damage. This happened somewhere in the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan while his unit engaged a large force of Taliban. This was his 5th tour of duty in combat. I spent time with his mother as well in the waiting area providing what little comfort I was empowered to offer. During our conversation she told me how she had hoped he would not be asked to return to combat and as I humbly shared with her she knew in her heart of hearts that would not be his desire. Rather like each of the others the yearning to be with their brothers runs very deep. It’s all about the bond we share, with our team and the sum total of our brothers.

The book, “Burnt Yellow and Red” is another in a series of exposes on modern war as experienced and seen through the eyes of the Special Forces Warrior. The author and my friend, Steve Newman knows only too well what this means. You see, we served our military careers at the very core of this world during and through the Cold War, Lebanon, Granada, El Salvador, Panama, Desert Storm, Somalia, the counter drug wars and many things that God willing will never grace the pages of a book. More importantly though he has learned the craft of putting this on paper in a way that the uninitiated can understand. He brings in this book, an opportunity for you to really begin to understand, at a personal level, what our business is all about. He provides a human face of war using a passionate yet subtle tone to engage the willful imaginations of those who live in the world of fantasy while dragging them quietly through the world of the elite warrior. Steve weaves a tale of a very personal nature, allowing you to become fully engaged in the lives of many of the characters. He offers you a bond to the storyline and characters in a very interesting way and shows you the human side of the equation.

Burnt yellow and red as colors standing alone can paint a picture of serene beauty in the hands of a skilled artist. Burnt yellow and red encapsulates an image of the horizon on a dark and eerie morning as the sun rises; promoting the forthcoming storm to all who view this awesome spectacle of nature. Burnt yellow and red are not just colors but rather the inculcation of total horror; full of sounds, vibration, acrid smells, total destruction and the portal for souls to pass from this earth. Burnt yellow and red, not just the title of a book they are also the triggers for the memories of those who have experienced war in its most terrible forms. Modern warriors, Special Forces warriors, know all too well just how much burnt yellow and red touches the very fabric of their souls.

If one were to take the time to read the tapestries promoted in this expose of war, one would begin to appreciate, at least in some small measure, the depth of humanity that sits just beyond the horizon in whose hands the protection of freedom has been placed by the many who live in relative comfort. Steve, a seasoned and articulate Special Forces warrior, pens to paper a story based on fact. This story is not just any story. It is the story of men, true patriots all, thrust into a world both ancient and destructive. It is a world of dark intrigue with moments of humor, moments of testing, moments of caring and moments of complete and unadulterated horror. It is a story of human emotion, one in which the reader can feel the very presence of each soul in this story. It is a story that the reporter is ill equipped to articulate in any form and one where the cold images projected on the screen cannot do justice to the events that they display. This is the story of men who go where others dare not tread, a story of men who share a bond deeper than any other on earth. Welcome to the world of the “Quiet Professionals.”

High above the clouds the aerial artillery waits for the
team to grant them access. The killing field below is like
no other in history, blinded by reality.[i]

Thomas A. Gluzinski, CW3(R)
Warrior Poet
U.S. Army Special Forces, Special Operations Technician (Retired)

[i] Thomas A. Gluzinski, contributing author, “De Oppresso Liber,” from the poem “Preparing the Way,” page 26, Old Mountain Press, 2542 S.Edgewater Dr. Fayetteville, NC 28303, 2006.

To order a signed and numbered collectors copy of "Burnt Yellow and Red" directly from the Author go to this link!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hope and Trust?

Over the past year, this line of scripture has appeared to me on several occasions. Seems like everywhere I look, I see it written on a bill board, a piece of paper, you name it. Last night I turned my computer on and there it was, on a word document that my wife had created so she could write a post for her Facebook profile.

Isaiah 40:31 - but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I asked her about it and she said it was about hope; which without, there is no possibility of happiness. I was floored; mostly because she is right, but also because the words didn’t slide off her tongue as if she was actually the person speaking. I don’t know, the order of the words weren’t quite the way she normally speaks or something. I haven’t said anything to her, not sure if I should, still.

Hope, what does it mean? According to my dictionary hope is based on trust and reliance in an archaic sense. Does that mean that those who trust and rely with confidence in the Lord will renew their strength? I imagine it does.

Sort of reminds me of the prayer Mike would say each time he jumped. “Father, give me the courage and strength I need to do that which I must.” Perhaps I should amend that prayer for me and say, “Father, I pray for patience and understanding when it comes to the realization of success knowing full well that your definition and mine are not necessarily the same. Please give me the ability to recognize your definition of success in my life.” Amen….P.S. thanks for answering that other the way.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review by Joyce Godwin Grubbs

One of the finest novels written revealing the fictional evolution of a special forces soldier from enlistment to what he believes to be his last mission. Women will enjoy and benefit from this novel's information and revelations. A must read for everyone with someone in the military, or whose ever wondered about our military special forces. Real events fictionalized make this a cutting edge read and it is done in a format not blistered with profanity and explicit sex, but adequately recognizing what is real and important to the soldiers, including their personal lives.

Steve Newman is an author on the rise, and his impending release of his next novel, "Burnt Yellow and Red" is certainly going to be on my "to read list."

Joyce Godwin Grubbs is a good friend of mine who has written 9 books. Please join her on GoodReads and check out her work!