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Monday, January 19, 2015

IS IT REAL OR IS IT?

I have to admit I struggled a bit when I decided to write my next SEAL Brotherhood book, SEAL's Promise, with a home grown terrorist cell in it. This was before some of the more recent events that have catapulted SEALs into the forefront of the news. I had the book written, and then when word began to come out last Fall about terrorist sleeper cells in this country and others around the world--cells that might prey on our military men and women or their families, I hesitated.

I remember the day the Twin Towers came down in New York City. I would learn later that the Valedictorian of my California high school class was on the top floor, speaking at a charity luncheon fundraiser for women. My son was a film student at NYU, and he had left me a message approximately one hour before the attacks, telling me how rainy and stormy it had been the night before, but they'd had a successful party anyway, "Today it is a beautiful, blue, cloudless New York Day." Those words stuck in my throat as I watched the planes hit the towers over and over again all day. I was terrified until I found out he was safe.

Another member of my graduating class would die in a terrorist bombing in Algeria at the U.N. office there. His wife had set up a school for girls, risking her life to do so. He told me at our reunion that he carried, "A little bit of California with me," back to Algeria, his home. He had brought his entire family to the reunion in order to meet the students of the high school he attended as a foreign exchange student.

As the awful choking soot and smoke began to settle on 9-11, I knew in my heart that something new had begun. We were entering a time when non-military men and women in this country, innocents, would become casualties of this insane fanaticism sweeping across much of the world. When I visited the site, it was difficult when I realized that the tree branches hanging above my head with some kind of brown moss and metal crumpled fruit was the evidence of pantyhose and metal mini blinds from the offices that perished. Instead of just targeting the fighting man and woman, the civilian population was now going to be attacked. This was a new experience for us in the United States.

But as I got my edits back and and uploaded the book, I understood that stories are usually based on events that happen in real life, even though the romance and the characters are make believe. And so my story is set against the backdrop of the unfortunate reality that military men, women and their families might become targets. The love story occurs while the terror is unfolding.

I'm so happy that American Sniper is out and that it is a tremendous hit. It does tell the story about our brave Navy SEALs, the heroes I love to write about, and their precious families. The character of the men who will not quit was underscored in such a powerfully moving way for me.

Every new tragedy or event inspires me to continue to tell the stories of these guys, and why we should honor them, perhaps listen to their advice and warnings. The world is changing, whether we want it to be so or not. Thank goodness we have these guys, and all the other brave military men and women, who have our backs, and have that unrelenting calling to keep us all safe.

As I've said many times before, the way we can honor and pay them back is to enjoy what we have every day, to live our lives to the fullest, to enjoy every minute of our taste of freedom. Life is fragile, but it is also so very sweet.


Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.





16 comments:

Sandy said...

What a moving tribute to our American men and women in the military, Sharon. We should honor them every day for the freedoms we have.

Sharon, keep writing about our dear boys and girls. I lost classmates in the Viet Nam War, and I'll never forget them.

julie beasley said...

Well said Sharon. We should all be thankful we can live our life to the fullest because unkown heroes keep us safe

Sharon Hamilton said...

Sandy, Thank you for your comments. We write what we are passionate about, and I certainly am passionate about all the military men and women who serve. Thanks for taking the time to post and be here with me today.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thanks, Julie. We're all in this together.

Cara Marsi said...

What a wonderful and inspiring post. I love your SEAL books. I visited the 9/11 site in December 2001. It still held the remnants of that awful day. Thank you for what you are doing for these brave men and women in our military.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Thanks, Cara. We do what we can with what we're given. But it's nice to know we're not alone.

dlferriola said...

Your article was a touching tribute to our military men and women. Your books bring accolades and awareness to these deserving individuals which I will continue to purchase. They are an education to me reading about their lives and very entertaining. Thank you!

Judy Baker said...

What a great post, thank you for your words. We can never show our appreciation enough for those serving our country. God Bless them.

Sharon Hamilton said...

diferriola, thank you for those words.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Hey Judy, thank you so much. We are of the same mind. They make it easy to forget the price has been paid by others.

Melissa Keir said...

What a moving post. I was teaching the day the towers came down and we kept the knowledge of the world changing from them so that they could enjoy their last day of innocence.

I wish you many sales on your book!

Sharon Hamilton said...

Melissa, very touching. Thank you for that.

Erika said...

Sorry I'm a day late but I had to comment. 9/11 profoundly changed me. My son was working across the street and my cousin called when he saw people jumping. I spent 5 of the worst hours of my life before I found out that everyone was OK. We lost some community members that day. Now my daughter lives next door to the Memorial and my son across the street. We are reminded everyday of the the events of that day. Also, I'm nervous that one day something else will happen.
Sharon, your books are great because although they are fiction, I feel like I get a little insight into what our military might go through. I've become super patriotic and would love to help our Vets.
Thank you for your posting.

Marianne Stephens said...

What a thoughtful and moving blog. Honoring out vets is demanded or should be. The movie will hit home with many of our military members, whether in service now or retired.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Erika, I love hearing this from you. Being raised in Northern California, this was a progressive journey for me to wake up and realize what's real. And not to live in fear of it. Thank you for joining the community of those who love and support our honorable men and women in uniform. And thanks for your moving post.

Sharon Hamilton said...

Marianne, I am honored to be one of your featured authors on this blog. Thank you for giving me the platform and freedom to speak my mind. And yes, we owe all our freedoms to those who have paid the sacrifices. Thank you for helping me honor them.

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