Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Next Novel, "Burnt Yellow and Red"

The Foreword By Thomas A. Gluzinski, CW3(R), Warrior Poet

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 Sinise, the actor who earned his initial fame as Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forest Gump. Mr. Sinise 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.

"Burnt Yellow and Red"

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Raising Awareness!

Mission: Raise Awareness and Funds in support of the Green Beret Foundations efforts!

Next week I will be traveling to Randleman, NC to participate in a fundraising effort with the Green Beret Foundation. About a year ago I interviewed the Director of Operations for the foundation, Mrs. Jennifer Paquette, and I felt compelled to share that interview of her with you all here today.

You will find links to the Foundations Website and I invite you to join them on facebook as well. The event in Randleman NC will be a lot of fun and I hope that if you are in that area on the 29th of October you will look for the Green Beret Foundation booth, and stop by to say hello!

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Interview with Jennifer Paquette of the Green Beret Foundation

1. What is your organizations full name, your full name and your position within the organization? The Green Beret Foundation, Jennifer Paquette, Director of Operations and I also sit on the Board of Advisors.

2. How and why did you get involved? My husband, Roland Paquette III, was an 18d (Special Forces Medic) with 1/3 SFG and was severely injured December 28, 2005 when his vehicle was hit by an IED. He lost both of his legs above the knees. I started working for USSOCOM Care Coalition helping start a pilot program supporting injured, ill and wounded Special Operations warriors and their families. I was a project manager and mentor for this program. I am still a mentor in the program but I am focusing on school; am supporting my husband while he goes to Physician’s Assistant school and focusing on getting the Green Beret Foundation up and running.
3. What is your mission and how do you hope to achieve it? The Green Beret Foundation provides unconventional resources to facilitate the special needs of our wounded, and provide unique support to the Special Forces community in order to strengthen readiness and uphold Green Beret traditions and values.

a. What is your Short term goal- We are currently focusing on creating a solid resource network and legitimate business infrastructure in order to facilitate our long-term goal of alleviating any gaps in care or controllable stressors for wounded Green Berets and their families. We want to instill confidence in our donors in order for them to be confident that their donations are truly making a difference in the Green Beret Community. We are focusing on marketing, holding fundraisers, partnering with corporations and private donors in order to raise the necessary resources.

b. What is your Long term goal- to setup a solid support system that will be able to support wounded Green Berets for many years to come. We support Green Berets wounded in combat operations, training, and peace time operations. Because the Green Berets are called upon to operate with supreme precision in extreme situations their training can result in injured soldiers. And although our nation will eventually end war-time activities, the Green Berets will continue to be tasked with potentially dangerous and life threatening peacetime activities. We want our foundation to be able to continue supporting Green Berets injured during their service to our country for a long time to come.

4. What are some of the activities being supported by your organization?
a. Health and Welfare, Advanced rehabilitation and operational health & performance programs.

b. Equipment related to rehabilitation and operational health & performance treatments and procedures not covered by the DOD, the Veterans Affairs, or TRICARE such as; In-Vitro fertilization for those whose reproductive capacity has been affected by their wounds, injury or illness.

c. Career & educational opportunities and Life reintegration assistance. Travel Transportation and lodging for medical treatments not covered by TRICARE.

d. Transportation and lodging for Veterans seeking medical assistance through VAR or occasions when travel for medical purposes for our wounded on active duty is not covered by the government.

e. Memorial Costs incurred by family members for Gold Star events and certain memorials.
Family assistance and resources to aid and assist the spouses and children of the Special Forces community who have been affected by the loss of their loved one.

f. Financial assistance for certain hardships when approved by our Board of Directors
We also work very closely with the USSOCOM Care Coalition to help us identify soldiers with needs. They act as a clearing house for the wounded. Care Coalition tracks all casualties from the combat theater to state side. We cannot operate efficiently and effectively without this organization. This is very important.

5. What can we all do to help your organization accomplish its goals? As we continue to have fundraisers around the nation, we will need help from volunteers to run these events. We can always use assistance with ideas and opportunities for fundraisers or events and resources surrounding raising awareness about our efforts to support our warriors. We are also looking for opportunities to educate the public however we can by enlisting the help of various publications, all of our social networks, social meetings, & TV and radio public service announcements.

Green Beret Foundation
P.O. Box 70827
Ft. Bragg, NC 28307

6. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would also like to make sure that you know that I am not the founder. The founder and president is SSgt (R) Aaron Anderson formally of 7th SFG (A) who was traumatically wounded in 2006. He has pulled together an outstanding Board of Directors and Board of Advisors made up of all former Special Forces Soldiers (and one wife of a SF soldier- me). It has taken this complete team to get it started.

Thank you very much!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Pulse Racing Thriller?

The life of an author may not be a pulse racing thriller but it is never dull, or at least at times there are small successes that make you feel like you are on top of the world. Last week, I received an offer for contract on a third book, pretty amazing, at least I thought so. It is a good feeling to know that being published is going to happen before you start on a project. Writing on speculation takes a lot of courage, and luck! I have a friend who says that "To be a writer, you have to be an absolute optimist, with very thick skin." I think I know what she means.

We are still tracking on the production process for Burnt Yellow and Red, my second novel which will be released in the spring of 2012. What is that you say? You have not ordered your signed and numbered prerelease copy yet? Well, there is time, but you had better hurry and get a low sequence number quick. I’ll reserve it for you! Just order it now!

The Night Eagles Soared is still doing well. I’ve had six book signings in the last four weeks and I've been working on learning the art of screen writing. It isn't easy...but not impossible and that is my focus over the next two weeks. Well, that and my birthday is coming up! Half way to 100 and still going strong!

Thanks everybody!