Rolled Sleeves And Other Updates
Rolled Sleeves, It's A Marine Thing
Good news for those of you who want more, and don't want to wait long. The rough draft of the Daniel Briggs novel Adrift will be done tomorrow. It tells the story of how our favorite Marine sniper, now home from war (before he meets SSI), lands in a small town and all hell breaks loose when a drunk Briggs tries to do the right thing.
If you all like this book, there will be more exploring the depth of Daniel's pain and struggle with PTSD. I think you'll like it. Much ass-kicking involved. Tentative launch date will be sometime in March.
The Next Novel
With Adrift off my list tomorrow, next Monday I start a new Corps Justice novel. I have some ideas, but wanted to get your opinion. Voting ends Sunday, so please check out the survey now. Don't worry, there's only one question: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FDN5T6H
Sales and Reviews Update
Thanks again to everyone who has read Presidential Shift. Because of your support it's doing very well on Amazon. If you haven't written a review yet, please do so HERE. We've got 15 reviews so far. Let's see how many we can get. More reviews means more readers.
Share, Share, Share
Don't forget to share Corps Justice with your friends. Help me recruit readers to the family...
I went for a run today. Of course it was in the middle of the muggy heat. As I stretched on the back porch, my wife commented about how 'crazy' I was for running at the worst time of day.
It got me thinking.
Why, as current and former members of the military, do we push the red line? Why does it seem like we have a couple screws loose?
We Love A Good Challenge
You don't go into the military for something easy. We each look for a challenge. The great thing about being in the Marine Corps, Navy, etc...is that the Services give us plenty of challenges. One day it's a grueling hump, the next it's a pissy Major looking for the proper request form. We learn to live with the challenges and exceed our own expectations.
When we leave the military we don't change. The world wants us to assimilate, but we resist. I don't know about you, but I'm not about to turn into a lazy lump.
What makes us climb the last rung, hump the last mile or chug the next beer? It's that 'Screw It' mentality. As I was sweating my ass off on my run, I had a flashback of one of the many times I said "Screw It" much to the disgust of others.
It was the night before a 20-mile hike. My roommate and I had been designated Tail-End Charlies (you know, the guys in the back of the formation that kick the others in the ass and pickup any stragglers) since the beginning of training. At the time we really liked to push ourselves. This go-around we decided it would be fun to head down to the bar and drink a few pitchers of beer. You know. "Screw it!" As the night wore on our peers walked by asking,
"What are you guys doing?"
"Are you crazy?"
"What is wrong with you?"
We just laughed and said, "Just wait. We'll still kick your asses."
I have no idea how much we drank, but neither wanted to back down.
The next morning we formed up with the rest of our class and headed off. I'm pretty sure we smelled like a Coors brewery for the first five miles.
We obviously didn't feel one hundred percent, but we'd be damned if we were going to show it. Word got around and we just kept on smiling and pushed those in front of us.
It may not have been the smartest thing, but we didn't care. We were Marines. We were tough. We could do things harder and better than the others.
Today I just look back and laugh. Now I use my 'Screw It' attitude to do things that other people told me I shouldn't do. Here's a short list:
- You shouldn't be writing books.
- You shouldn't waste time helping others learn how to write.
- You should go get a real job.
- Why do you spend so much time with your family?
Sometimes you have to grab a pair and give the world the finger. Show it who's boss. I know you've all been there.
I'm proud to call you my friends. Know that I'm always here to push you like others have pushed me. You push me to write better and better stories. I thank you for that.
Now it's your turn.
What's your story?
When did someone say you couldn't do something?
Leave your tale in the comments section below.
photo credit: CherryPoint via photopin cc
Being a Marine...
Being a Marine...
Being a Marine is hard.
Being a Marine requires honor.
Being a Marine is a privilege.
Being a Marine is earned.
Being a Marine is hard core.
Being a Marine is an honor.
Being a Marine requires courage.
Being a Marine is for life.
Finding Old Friends the Marine Corps Way
Last night I was sifting through my Facebook feed, not really looking for anything, just killing time. Amazingly, I found three Marines I'd served with over ten years ago.
I friend-requested them, not really knowing what kind of response I would get.
The first response was from a Marine that always seemed to have his hand in some kind of mischief. He reminded me that the first time I was OOD I had to go to the hospital to pick him up after he got a couple teeth knocked out at a club off-base. I laughed just thinking about it. He's a good Marine that I remembered as someone who always pulled strings to take care of our company. He also helped to show a lowly lieutenant the ins and outs of how the battalion chain worked.
The second reply was from a Marine who, as a SSgt, I always thought was crusty beyond his age. One of those grunts that just got it. He knew how to take care of Marines AND accomplish the mission. Turns out he's still in the Corps and doing great. I laughed when he first replied to my friend request with, "You're a warrior not an author!" It felt like we fell into the old routine. I can't wait until I can fulfill my promise to buy him a beer. Between you and me, I'll be buying drinks the whole night.
The last Marine to write me back was one of those 'Poster Boy' Marines that we all hear about before hitting the Fleet. He's probably about six feet tall, smart, good looking, and a physically fit as they come. I remember checking in to my battalion and thanking my lucky stars that he'd be one of MY Marines. As seems to happen in the Corps, he left my platoon too soon. We had a great conversation as well. Turns out he did a much better job at keeping in touch with some of the old guys than I did. I also realized that there was some of my main character, Cal Stokes, in the Marine. It brought a grin to my face.
As I put my iPhone down and got ready for bed, I replayed the conversations in my head. They took me back to the days when it was all about the Marines around me. Part of me really misses those days. Thankfully, we now have technology that allows us to reach out to old comrades and reconnect.
It also made me realize how much of THEM is in my books. I say it often: I WRITE FOR THEM.
I'd never realized how much I'd missed my Marines.
C. G. Cooper is author of the Corps Justice Novels
Infographic of Marine Corps Quotes USMC
The great thing about the Marine Corps is that the bonds of brotherhood never end. As Marines, we've all been through similar experiences. Whether it's boot camp, OCS, Okinawa, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton or war, there's always a common bond. Most importantly, we are Marines.
I had the distinct pleasure of bumping into two former Marines in the last three days. One is almost forty years my senior and the other probably a couple years younger. I met one because he needed help with his rental property, the other because we met at a networking event.
Well, as soon as the conversations started, everything else stopped. I spent almost three hours talking to the Vietnam Marine and tuned out a room full of friends to talk to the other. Why? Because we had a bond that goes deeper than being mere acquaintances. The fact that we were each stamped by the press called The Corps, led us to have an instant bond.
We skipped past the usual barriers typical of when you meet a new person. We usually put up walls until we get to know someone. It's important to build that trust. But there's something about meeting a fellow Marine. It allows us to open up. Have you ever had the same experience?
I treasure the times I make new Marine friends. Sometimes it ends with a great conversation. Sometimes it leads to a great friendship. Either way, you get to walk away feeling like you, once again, got to experience the bond that is so unique to our Marine family.
Marines: What do we have in common?
So I've been pushing hard these last couple of days to wrap up the new book. It's a labor of love so really the only thing that hurts are my eyes. I was in the middle of describing the background of one of the main characters, MSgt Willy Trent, when I started laughing. Why? Because it reminded me of all the different stories we've all heard from fellow Marines.
Think about it, we're all Marines but we're all SO different in our backgrounds. I served with guys from New Orleans, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, etc.. No two Marines had the same story.
But when you look at a Marine in uniform, standing in formation, holy crap! We all look the same! High and tights, serious expressions, perfectly creased cammies...you remember.
The thing that we all have in common is that we've all earned the title of Marine. It's a beautiful thing. We all come from different towns, different races, different economic situations and different families. Yet, we come together and share the same bond. The bond of being a Marine.
The same holds true when you leave the Corps. How many times have I bumped into a former Marine (they come in all shapes and size too: young, old, fit, fat...) and you either just nod a silent salute or throw out of quick "Semper Fi." It happens to me a lot. Maybe it's the license plate with the EGA on it. Maybe it's the sticker on my window. It doesn't matter.
We subtly make ourselves known to each other and the bond grows on.
I'll finish with a quick tangent. I remember back in the 90's when there was all the talk about how spoiled young Americans were getting and that we'd never see the likes of the amazing courage and sacrifice as "The Greatest Generation." I remember thinking that while I was immensely proud of the WWII generation, I knew that our younger generation would step up to the challenge when called.
That's happened and then some. Those same kids that spent hour playing Nintendo and XBox. Those same kids that ate two out of three meals at McDonalds. Those same kids that so many wrote off as a burden on our society.
Those same kids stepped up to the challenge of the Post 9/11 world and now shine for the world to see. They now stand on that wall and ensure our safety and freedom. They've been unleashed.
Let's not ever forget the sacrifices of any one of our generations.
Let's not ever forget that first and foremost we are Americans and that freedom is NOT free.
Let's not ever forget the sacrifice of Marines and their families on a daily basis, doing what they do to keep the wolves at bay.