Monday, January 14, 2013

Soldier's Heart

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A God Wink?

While at Keesler AFB, I met two WWII Veterans.

One was a tail gunner in a B-24. He said he was fifteen when he joined the Army Air Corp in 1942. Then they put him in as a gunner because he was only 5'3" tall, and 95lbs. That meant he could wear the bail out rig and actually fit through the bail out hatch. William Allen, was an instant friend and I nicked named him Wild Bill, after he bragged about having the Hooters girls visit him and his buddies at the Armed Forces Retirement Home there in Gulfport, Mississippi.

The Second was a beautiful 86 year old Japanese lady who stood at least 3"9" tall. She explained how before the war the Japanese Marines would train in the fields behind her house. Then during the war, she was wounded very badly when the Americans bombed her village. She was wounded despite having taken shelter in a hole in her back yard. She had scares on her face; on her left eye, and on the right side of hear face from the eye all the way back around the side of her head over the top of her ear. The years and her hair covered them well.

Then she explained how she had lived through the occupation, and at 18 years old was still shamefully unmarried. That is when an American GI with the most incredibly handsome pink skin and round blue eyes asked her out. She asked him, "Why do you want to take me out, I am all burned and scared?" He told her, "Beauty is only skin deep!" Long story short, with her parents permissiion, they married and had two wonderful children and are still together, living in Biloxi. She was adement about making sure I understood that she had her parents permission to marry. She understoond and lived by the honor of her family.

I met the two of them perhaps within a thirty minute window on Saturday. Bill 87 and Kazue 86 were both wonderful and happy people, complete strangers, yet their lives still remain inextricably intertwined by fate; although, they may never, ever meet. It was an incredible honor when they shared their stories with me, as if they had known me all their lives.

God bless our World War II Veterans! All of them.


Review from "Joker 4"

I met you  and your wife at the Exchange while I was on vacation in Jacksonville, Florida.   I purchased both of your novels on Amazon and I congratulate you on two top notch novels that should become movies. As one Infantry Grunt to another, I thoroughly identified with the combat aspects and really shed a few tears by the memories from Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 which were stirred up by your descriptive writing.  These past few years I have read all the Clancy, Vince Flynn, Cussler, Perry, Lee Child, etc novels and enjoyed them all.  I have put you on that list and hope you have another novel in the works.  I kept wondering if you were the “Mike” character?  

As for myself, I retired in 1983 and had become an Army JAGC in 1969.  I retired in 1983 and worked as an Assistant General Counsel for L-3 communications Corporation since 1987 (after starting with  Ford Aeronautic in Newport Beach in 1983 and Motorola in 1984 to 1987, followed by Loral and Lockheed Martin which spun off into L-3 .   I got my Infantry “Grunt” status through ROTC at  the University of Illinois at Fort Benning where I attended the Basic Officers course followed by Airborne and Ranger School and then Helicopter School  at Fort Wolters; followed by three years in Munich in the 2/9th Cavalry before going to Vietnam.  I came back to the University of Illinois on Active Duty to finish a law degree in 1967 after finishing a year at Fort Campbell as a  101st Company Commander.  After law school I was assigned to the University of Virginia for the Advanced JAGC one year Course and had tours in the early 70’s at Fort Carson and the Pentagon in the litigation division and a LLM course in Government Contracting at George Washington University, graduating in 1976.  I also got to be the SJA at Fort Rucker in 1978 before returning to DC to eventually become the Chief Trial Attorney (Contracts) for the Army.

The reason for my long resume is so that you understand that I am more than just an English major and Speech major who likes to read..   I figure between my flying Huey B model gunships and commanding troops seasoned by a JD and Masters degrees, I am not just an ordinary “Grunt” with an ordinary compliment.  I recognize talent and you really deserve recognition.  I am very happy that  Linda and I ran into you at the Exchange.   I am living my 73rd year  now and will be 74 in May.  I will be retiring this coming April and hope to put out my own fictional novel  which will center on my life to date i and will include my tour in Vietnam.  F.N . My call sign in Vietnam was “Joker 4” and I named the Jokers.  The Jokers are still on active duty and are stationed in Germany.  They had several tours in IRAQ.  

In short, you have been an inspiration for me and God bless you and your family.  Your service to the Country is greatly appreciate are your novels are great!


James (Jim) Price
Colonel, Ret. USA
“Joker 4”   

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Most Recent Review

I just received this review from a reader. Thought I would share it with you!


I just finished reading "The Night Eagles Soared"....thanks for a great book!

I've read hundreds of Special Ops, SF, Viet Nam books and yours was one of the best.

My Daughter-in-law got the book from you when you were at Hurlburt...she then gave it to me for Christmas along with "Burnt Yellow and Red".

Really enjoyed the specifics of the Panama portion of the book because I was on a Special Ops Weather Team in Panama for three years, 1968 - 1971. Things were considerably different then than when you were there.

I was stationed at Howard, but Went thru H.A.L.O. school in the first and probably last class that the 8th SF Group provided.

Anyway, good show, I like your writing style and your ABILITY to put together a good story...keep writing!

Thanks for your service...civilians don't have any idea what we all went thru.

Sincerely .... De Opresso Liber!

Dennis Davis
Master Parachutist

Thanks Dennis!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Home of the Brave!

For the last six months I have been traveling around the South Eastern United States with my books, visiting military installations and meeting a great many members of the military.   I’ve met veterans from every branch of service, from every war this country has ever fought.  Well, at least as far back as WWII.   Some of those wars are well known, others forgotten or just never known to the public.  What strikes me as amazing?  The names and faces change but the stories are always extraordinarily similar.  Heroic in nature, incredible to hear, consistently painful, yet told with such pride.

Yesterday, I grabbed two young troops and introduced them to a little ole lady I was talking to.  Her name is Joan and she was born in England.  When she was nine years of age she had survived the German onslaught of bombing raids that hit London, almost daily.  She told them, “I could see the pilot’s faces as they flew overhead, low, looking for us.” It dawned on me, this is why we serve, and this is why we all do what we do.

Everyday, while I am at the Exchange selling my books, people tell me their stories, and they almost always say, “Thanks for your service.”  I usually reply, “Ahhh don’t thank me, I was like a rock star with a machine gun; all I ever did was do what I loved doing, be what I loved being, a soldier.”  And the most common reply I get…  “Me too!”   

It isn’t Veterans Day, but if you love your life?  If you love the freedoms we have here in this great nation?  Thank a vet!  God bless the United States of America.  Land of the free, home of the brave! 

S. B. Newman, Author