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What is Uncommon Courage and why it is important enough to be published on 11.11.2015.

Uncommon Courage

What do you think World War 2 Veterans, Military Spouses, Vietnam Veterans and NAVY SEALs would share if you asked them to write down the answer to this question, “What wisdom would you share with today’s generation about life, courage and sacrifice?” Do you think that today’s generation would benefit from reading and applying their wisdom within their personal and family relationships? Do you think these veterans and spouses have something meaningful to say about living an inspirational life, patriotism, rebuilding broken lives, strengthening marriages and building self-confidence?

On November 11, 2015 (Veterans Day) the four volume book set UnCommon Courage comprised of the wisdom from World War 2 Veterans, Military Spouses, Vietnam Veterans and NAVY SEALs about life, courage and sacrifice.

This four volume set will be the first of it’s kind. Each book will comprise handwritten notes paired with meaningful portraits of each veteran and spouse. Military experience instills a particular kind of wisdom that increases ones self-confidence, motivation and determination to live a life that will make your grandchildren proud. The wisdom of veterans and spouses is a light in a darkened wood that can help us overcome obstacles and avoid falling in wholes that many who have gone before us have fallen.

The purpose of Uncommon Courage is to help bring to light much needed wisdom from the brave men and women who have served our great country. Let me give you a little history about my dad to help explain why Uncommon Courage is important and must be published.
navy-seal-arlington-6My dad was a NAVY SEAL from 1962 – 1982. He was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in 1999. I was 23. As a child, I remember the stories that he told me about his missions in Vietnam as a SEAL. Although I appreciated having a dad in the military I didn’t fully understand the significance of his service until the year before he passed away from lung cancer.  During that year he converted one of his offices into a room that outlined not only our family history but also his military history.

That room pulled back the curtain to reveal a part of my dad’s military history that he never shared. My dad wasn’t just a soldier who happened to be a SEAL. He was a SEAL who went beyond the call of his duty as an American. He participated in 7 tours. When a mission needed a volunteer my dad raised his hand. A few awards from his military career included three Bronze Stars for valor, three Navy commendations for valor and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

Navy Seal Team Vietnam MedalsTheir were two stories from these awards that stand out in my mind today. The military intercepted a message from the Vietcong detailing an attack on an American location codenamed, “Red House.” America deciphered the date and time but couldn’t determine the location of “Red House.” My dad found out the location and the Americans set an ambush for the Vietcong.

NAVY SEAL in Vietnam WarThe second award hits a lot closer to my heart because his bravery epitomes the life lessons he shared with me. During a firefight from a boat with the Vietcong one of my dad’s teammate was shot, became unconscious and began to slide into the water. He certainly would have drowned. As bullets riddled the boat and flew overhead my dad stood up and pulled his teammate back into the boat.

navy-seal-arlington-7As much as I would like to think that my dad was the only pinnacle of honor and duty in all the military, I know that there are millions more like him who answered the call and served America honorably. There are a million more sons and daughters, like me, who didn’t hear a lot of military stories from their parents. There are also parents who shared their wisdom but it will never go beyond the boundaries of their families.

Uncommon Courage will be an avenue for these veterans and their spouses to share their wisdom with a country who wants to hear it.

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World War 2: The Bond and The Burden

World War 2 Hand KissWhen American veterans of World War 2 share their experiences from the war everyone listens. We can’t help but listen. We are inspired and awed when we hear stories with feats of bravery alongside fellow soldiers in unimaginable situations with the enemy. Nothing sums up American pride and determinism than the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day to paratroops before they boarded the planes,”Full victory – Nothing Else.”

UnCommon Courage: The Bond and The Burden will go beyond the stories and ask deeper questions about their philosophy on life, courage and sacrifice. These characteristics helped win the war because these veterans were not only fighting to protect their family and country but for humanity as a whole.

Each featured veteran will put pen to hand and in their own handwriting write their own philosophy on life, courage and sacrifice. Between 500-1000 World War 2 veterans are dying everyday and everyday we are loosing the “wisdom they can offer us about surviving and thriving in a difficult world.”

The Bond and The Burden will not only feature 100 handwritten notes on life, courage and sacrifice but each note will be paired with a wonderful headshot portrait of each author.

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NAVY SEALs: Uncommon Sacrifice

Navy SEAL BUDS trainingWith the rescue of Captain Phillips from Somali pirates (2009) and the killing of Osama Bin Laden by SEAL Team Six (2011) the NAVY SEALs have been given greater attention around the world. This clandestine and elite maritime military force comprise quiet professionals who don’t seek personal fame but who are regularly sent on “against all odds” missions. The outcome of many missions is only determined by sheer willpower and absolute dedication to victory. While Americans sip their coffee on a lazy day thinking how we might make a name for ourselves NAVY SEALs sacrifice daily and to do what is right for their country anonymously.

NAVY SEALs have extraordinary abilities that have shaped not only U.S. history but also world history. They are the silent individuals who have a unique perspective on life, courage and sacrifice that can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Uncommon Sacrifice will feature 100 SEALs’ handwritten philosophy on Life, Courage and Sacrifice paired with a meaningful portrait from each author.

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Military Spouses: Honor From The Home Front

Hug from homecoming military spouse and babyMilitary spouses are often the quiet support staff who plays a significant role not only in the success of their soldier’s military career but also in a steady household. While their soldier is on deployment and training missions spouses must bare the burden of maintaining a stable home for their children, maintain financial obligations and carry the burden of the relationship alone.  Many important conversations, anniversaries and children’s birthdays are put on hold because of the needs of the military.

As a soldier rises in the ranks, the expectations and responsibilities of the spouse also rise. One of these expectations may include relocating thousands of miles away with kids in tow with only a 6-8 weeks notice. It’s always a challenge to time major decisions and conversations for a military family when everything is determined by the needs of others.

Uncommon Courage: Honor from the Home Front will go deeper and ask spouses about their philosophy on life, courage and sacrifice. The wisdom of military spouses touches on all aspects of life: stress, parenting, emotional connection to your spouse and sacrificing to preserve one’s union. There is no question that military spouses have insight into surviving and thriving in a difficult world.

Honor from the Home Front will not only feature 100 handwritten notes on life, courage and sacrifice but also be paired with a wonderful headshot portrait of each author.

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Vietnam: Hated Then Honored

Vietnam War - American infantrymenVietnam Veterans have a unique perspective and wisdom on being an American soldier that apply to daily life. During their service anti-war sentiment and public protests grew because of because of daily reports from the media of soldier deaths and casualties paired with the 40,000 young men called to the fight in Vietnam every month.  Anti-War Protests grew as years passed because it was becoming clear that America was not accomplishing it’s mission to liberate the South Vietnamese people from Communist aggression. The cost of American lives plus a growing cost to tax payers to fight in Vietnam was becoming too much bare.

In the middle of this anti-war sentiment were American soldiers fighting for their country and saving the lives of their fellow soldiers and Vietnam civilians. Sadly, the same America who supported and welcomed back returning soldiers from World War 2 and Korea was not the same for Vietnam veterans. Many veterans returned home to the sound of yelling protesters who carried signs with anti-war slogans.

Sadly, the story of Vietnam has become more about self-serving politicians rather than about the soldiers who with honor, courage and sacrifice answered the call of their country. There are countless stories of their courage and valor in the middle of the fight that have been largely ignored or forgotten over time. Many Vietnam Veterans returned home quietly and have led very successful lives.

Uncommon Courage: Hated then Honored will feature handwritten thoughts of 100 Vietnam Veterans on life, courage and sacrifice. Vietnam Veterans have a unique perspective on being a soldier during anti-war turmoil. Their thoughts extent beyond life in the battle field and help transform personal defeat into personal victory.

Hated then Honored will not only feature 100 handwritten notes on life, courage and sacrifice but also be paired with a wonderful headshot portrait of each author.

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