I’m a civilian. The only knowledge I have about military life is what I’ve learned from my dad, who was a Soldier, and my other friends who have served, in addition to what I’ve researched for myself.
This presents a hell of a challenge, then, when a major character in my second book (currently in progress right now) is a 12 year veteran of the Marine Corps. The reader spends a lot of time with this guy, so I’ve had to create not just a character, but a character with a realistic military career in the United States Marine Corps.
That shit is hard.
Lucky for me, I have some good Marine friends, both veterans as well as active service members, who can protect me from doing idiotic things. One of them is listed in the acknowledgements of Commune Book One (Hi, Scott); another of them (currently stationed out in Okinawa right now) is looking like he’ll be a big part of me keeping Book Two on point.
I’ve spoken to a few vets on the matter and, so far, they all seem to appreciate the fact that the main thing I’m trying to do is show the most realistic portrayal I can of the military mindset and lifestyle, warts and all. I’m getting the impression that these guys are excited about having their stories told, even if it’s only in a work of apocalypse fiction.
I’m trying to do a lot of things in this series of books, one of which is to honor the service and actions of the men and women of the United States Military in the truest way that I can, showing them as the real, complex people that they are. Call it a fanboy love letter, if you like.
Whether I’m qualified or not, I’m taking on the role of a collector and keeper of stories, here. If you have served or are currently serving and you have stories you want to share from your experiences (pretty or ugly), whether you were in country, on base, or in basic, please feel encouraged to send them my way. If they work out for the story I’m trying to tell, an adapted version may end up in my books (with your permission). Even if they don’t, I’ll be posting them up here at this site (again with your permission, of course – you or I can change names to protect the not-so-innocent).
I don’t know how much range this post is going to have or if there will be a lot of takers but I’d sure as hell like to get as many eyes on as I can. If you’re reading this right now and you know anyone who might be interested, please share this along and direct them to my contact info on this site so they can drop me a line. No story is too small; I’m not necessarily looking for a bunch of top tier operator stories, though if you went out and did that, it’s cool and you’re welcome here too. But the background folks, whether you ran logistics in an office of slung food in the mess, I want you here too. The lowliest grunt who never did anything more than fill a gas tank is still more of a badass than me; you guys are all my heroes, men and women alike. You all have a place here.
I’m looking for human stories. Whether it has to do with your first or last firefight; or that night you got bored, lit your pubes on fire, and ended up in the infirmary; or that wild time in Thailand that you can only vaguely remember. I’m interested in all of it. I’m damned sure not the only one.