I stumbled upon a tweet from an author this morning that instantly caught my eye:
I reached out to Wayne and asked if he could tell me more about his book, his background and his motivation to donate half of his earnings to wounded warriors. His response verified my first instinct that Wayne was a kind hearted man who deserved recognition.
Here is what he told me:
“First and foremost, the hat I wear most is that of husband and father. After that, it’s the Marine Veteran’s cover. We have always taken care of our own, which is why I’m donating half the profits of my third book, Fallen Pride, to The Wounded Warrior Project. I’d hoped to be able to increase my giving to $500 a month, but only 13 days after publication, I’ve already earmarked over $320 to WWP.
The main character of my series is a retired Marine Infantryman, cum charter boat Captain, living in the Florida Keys, named Jesse McDermitt. I used to live and work on charter fishing and dive boats down there. In Fallen Pride, he meets the son of a friend who recently returned from Iraq and is having trouble adjusting. Jared suffers recurring nightmares and post traumatic stress from an incident that occurred in Iraq. He’s loosely based on a young friend’s problems adjusting to civilian life today. Actually, not really loosely based. His father is a long time friend and both are featured in Fallen Pride, as the two characters.
I’m guessing I served when you were a child, or maybe not even born. I was active duty on October 23, 1983. As I am today, I was a truck driver in the Corps then. I was on mounted patrol in the city of Beirut, Lebanon that morning, when a coward detonated a bomb outside our barracks and killed 220 of my brothers in their sleep.
Collaborating with Jared during the writing process, we both had to confront our demons and overcome them. It took me three months to write the second book in the series, Fallen Hunter, but Fallen Pride took twice that long. I kept having to set it aside, because I write mostly in the early morning hours and it just caused too much pain. Jared was working in North Dakota when I started and we talked on the phone. Halfway through he returned home, which was only 40 miles away from me. We got together on the weekends and worked hard to get through the painful parts.
I’m hoping other Veterans, who think they’re fighting the devil alone, will read Fallen Pride and realize they have others they can talk to, as Jared does with Jesse and some others in the book. Talking to shrinks at the VA doesn’t do squat, unless they’ve actually been there and few have. Talking with peers, either one on one, or in groups is the only way to overcome the horrors and try to lead a somewhat normal life.