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Blog Tour de Troops – Interview with a Veteran… My Father November 12, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in blog tour, Interview, promotion.
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome to Blog Tour de Troops. You should have found me from Michael E Mustizer’s blog. After this, the following stop will be Jennie Coghlin’s blog.  Read through to the end to find out how reading this blog can help you earn a free ebook from me and get one for the troops! I think it’s a bit longer than some of the other participants’ blogs, but it’s for a good cause and I learned a lot the answers to this myself, which is why I left it at this length.

SHANNON MUIR: This Veteran’s Day weekend, we’re paying tribute to veterans and giving away ebooks to soldiers. Growing up, I thought for quite a while that being a veteran meant that you had to actively serve in war, not just serve your country. What makes this an interesting misconception for me is that my own father, John C. Muir, served in the Navy for 24 years (of which I was a “Navy Brat” with him for most of the latter 12, during which time I lived in California, Japan, and the Hawaiian Islands). I decided for this “Blog Tour de Troops” to talk to my Dad about what being a veteran means to him, as someone who has served, and the impact it had on his life and about the views he gets of today’s veterans while now working on staff at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington State. Dad, I’m going to start of by asking, what made you decide to get into the service, was there any reason you chose the Navy specifically, and how did you end up staying almost a quarter of a century?

JOHN MUIR: That is a complex tale, though plenty of current service people have similar reasons. I wanted to go to college to better myself and get a good job but I didn’t have job skills that could get me hired at a wage that would pay for college and I didn’t have large scholarship offers. My folks were temporarily unable to help with college tuition. And, not a problem now, I was facing the draft if I wasn’t going to school. That would have been two years service with no choice as to what I would do. Military service was still a civic duty and expected, though we were not then in a shooting war with anyone. This was post-Korea, in 1960. There was no GI Bill at that point.

My choice was to volunteer for four years in the Navy with promised technical training as an incentive. The Navy definitely had the best technical schools at that time. I figured that technical skills would let me earn enough at a Radio Shack or TV repair store to get me through college. I wanted to be a nuclear power plant operator (I grew up next to the nuclear complex at Hanford,Washington) but the Navy had enough of those and I settled for an Electronics field enlistment. After Recruit Training, I received orders to Basic Electronics School and was told that I would be a Communications Technician. After I graduated from that school I received orders to Motion Picture Operator School (16MM and 35MM) for further transfer to a shadowy, secretive base that you would later know as KamiSeya, Japan. That was totally unexpected and a great disappointment, but I consoled myself with the thought that colleges had to need movie operators, so it would probably work out. And Japan would be good duty.

Arriving in Japan, I found that the theater had burned down while I was in transit and I had almost no purpose or useful skills. I was given some general electrical and mechanical work but quickly figured that this would not grow into useful job prospects after discharge. Still wanting to go to college as soon as possible, I gamed the system, re-enlisted for six years (which cancelled the remainder of my first enlistment) for Advanced Electronics School and would let me out after seven-and-a-half years with skills and some money saved up.

That sort of worked and did get me a good equipment maintenance school and experience on high-end electronics. At about the six year point, I was assigned to the Communication Training Center in Pensacola, Florida on the support staff.Vietnamwas heating up. I began preparing to enroll in a college or university in my home State. I also tried getting the feel of college by taking night classes at Pensacola Junior College. I also met your future mother and married her just as my seven-year point was coming up.

When we got back from the short honeymoon, there was a note taped to the trailer door that said the Captain wanted to see me right away. He had just gotten the local Junior College added to an experimental education reenlistment incentive program and was able to nominate one sailor to be enrolled until a degree was obtained, with fully paid tuition and books, and all Navy pay and allowances, Would I be the one? It was yes or no right then because he had to provide a name to Headquarters the next day. It was yes, though it obligated me to about four more years. And a year later, I was handed, and directed to sign, an application for the Warrant Officer program. I complied because I was way too young to be a Warrant Officer and it wasn’t worth making a fuss. They picked me.

After that, it was rather late to turn back and I was beginning to enjoy Navy life now that I was committed to it. For a technical geek, Warrant Officer was the best possible job. After my twenty-fourth year, though, it seemed to be time to take the family back to the States and use my now existing GI Bill to get that degree.

SHANNON: When you got out of the service, you used the G.I. Bill (used to fund post military training) to go back to school. What was it like returning to school after all those years in the service?

JOHN: It was a little strange but not as different as current vets find it. I hadn’t been shot at any time during my twenty-four years and did not have to go in-country during the Vietnam War. No PTSD issues to deal with. It was just different, not way-different. And I had prepared a bit by taking night classes at the Honolulu campus of Roosevelt University of Chicago during my last year of service. Those were Computer Science courses with a large number of military students attending and mostly active duty or retired military instructors working part time.

My degree program at Eastern Washington University was a modified Management Information Systems degree with a Library Research emphasis and I mixed with both geeks and business majors. That field of study didn’t even exist when I would have been first ready for college. The GI Bill did help a lot and I had my retirement pay but I still had to have a part-time job in a local bank doing data entry and word processing automation to make ends meet for a family of four. That was in line with my original goal, just deferred a bit. It was educational and pleasant but I was definitely of a different generation from the majority of the students. The first day of class, I showed up early and was first into the classroom. The second student in asked if I was the instructor.

SHANNON: Moving ahead, you’ve been working for a Community College in the Information Technology department for about as long as you spent in the service. Over the years, have you met a lot of veterans returning to school?

JOHN: There were fewer early on. I started in 1991 and we saw more active duty military from Fairchild Air Force Base than veterans. There were, and are, quite a number of faculty and staff who were vets. However, nobody said much about their prior service and there was no vets club or additional services. There was a Vets Office for VA paperwork in the Financial Aid area of Student Services with a staff of one and a couple of workstudies.

There are many more vets attending now, and they have greater adjustment problems, but are getting more recognition now than earlier and more assistance.

SHANNON: From what you’ve gathered, what has it been like for them, generally speaking?

JOHN: Their lives have generally been far more stressful and very different than mine was, but I seem to have more empathy with them than many of their never-served peers. Many of them have had experiences that their sheltered peers can’t imagine and it is hard for them to connect. Many have been wounded or traumatized and it doesn’t always show. One of the guys in the Computer Science program two years ago had been a Navy Brat on both sides and had a goal of becoming a Master Chief Petty Officer at a younger age than either of his parents. Wounds received while doing convoy protection on shore in Iraq got him a disability discharge before he made Chief Petty Officer. He was looking for a new goal and had a positive attitude but still wore his Navy uniform ballcap almost every day.

SHANNON: What kinds of services are available on your campus for veteran students?

JOHN: One vet, after getting a Masters Degree in Social Work, got part-time work at our sister-community-college across town about five years ago and created a Veterans Center there to provide a place where vets could relax among people that they felt safe with. Our campus acquired him full time about two years ago to do the same for us and to organize a vets student organization. They now have a very small vets center in what was designed as a seminar room in one of our newer buildings and an active presence in the Student Union building common area. They are much more visible and sponsor veteran-related ceremonies for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, 9-11 and Armistice Day

Our Vets Center counselor is actively seeking a larger center for our students because their room is always full. We are trying to find them a couple more computers for the center because he reports that they find most of the labs too crowded for some of the vets to feel comfortable. Some have trouble sleeping and it catches up with them. The counselor reported that one vet recently went to sit in his car to find a quiet, safe space and woke up eight hours later, having missed three classes.

To help understand vets and their possible problems, faculty and staff are offered training on identifying and dealing with victims of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury.

SHANNON: Did you have similar services available to you when you were going to school on the G.I. Bill? If not, do you wish you had?

JOHN: All that we had was a VA desk in the Financial Aid area for processing paperwork. The Vietnam-era vets were not always keen on having their prior service known. The idea of a veterans organization on campus was unthinkable – some academics were still working to keep recruiters off campus. Fortunately, there were off-campus programs for Vets that needed help. My service was so non-traumatic that I didn’t have any particular problems re-adapting. There was only one panicked moment in the late ‘80’s when I realized I was outside without a hat and afraid that the Master At Arms would see me and put me on report for being out of uniform.

SHANNON: Are there things you are observing in the younger generation of veterans that are very different than the way you remember things when you retired in the 1980s?

JOHN: They are definitely more stressed than we were and the type of service many have experienced has left them with different habits. They have more in common with Vietnam in-country vets. In extreme cases, they don’t like people they don’t know behind them and sit at the very back of rooms. Loud noises cause reflex sheltering responses. Most are less obvious than that but they have experiences that are not easily understood nor freely communicated.

For as good an insight as I can think of to explain something of what they may be feeling I suspect The Hurt Locker may be the best available source. I don’t try to keep up with the latest movies but it got a lot of kudos. In books, David Drake’s Hammers Slammers stories, based on his Vietnam experiences, give some of the same feel.

On a very positive side, we are, I believe, the only two-year school in the country with an Orthotics and Prosthetics program to learn to make artificial limbs. Many of the students in the program are vets and may have chosen that program because they know buddies with artificial limbs and how much those can mean to the wearers.

SHANNON: Are there things that you can still easily relate to between today’s generation of veterans and yourself?

JOHN:  We have a lot of negative experiences in common: the boredom, isolation, grinding workloads and unfathomable orders, for examples. We can compare C Rations to MREs for food value (or as weapons). I haven’t had the combat experiences but I fully expected to go in-country during Vietnam and had psyched myself for the prospect.

Despite the difference in generational outlooks, I seem to make more of an effort to understand what they think and feel than their peers do. There is some feeling of shared experience among us.

SHANNON: Any last thoughts?

JOHN: You might want to check out a 6 minute interview that was on NPR Morning Edition Sunday with author Karen Fischer-Alaniz from Walla Walla. Her book is titled Breaking The Code. It is particularly interesting because it has to do with veterans affairs and a particular form of PTSD that might be called the Vow of Silence.

Karen’s father was in the Navy during WWII,was discharged after, and never said a word about what he had done or where he was. On his 81st birthday, he gave Karen two notebooks that she spent a great deal of time deciphering but they contained letters about his war experience.She thought they were important enough to put them in book form and it will be out soon. Her father is still alive and was also part of the interview.

He was in my old line of work and, when he was discharged, the emphasis on the absolute necessity for security was so impressed upon him that he was unable to talk about it at all. In many ways, he still is. His job, she finally figured out was breaking Japanese codes. Me, I was just a Teletype mechanic, but I understand what pressures he was under. We were getting more relaxed by my time, though. There is obviously more than one kind of PTSD, and the psychological may be worse than the traumatic.

There are two main things that I learned from my service. The first was the apparent randomness of life. The Navy certainly changed me when I was at a pliable age, but it didn’t do it predictably. What would I be now if the theater hadn’t burned down? Why did the Captain ask me to be his nominee for a degree program that you couldn’t even apply for? Other apparently random happenings really weren’t. I was steered into my specialty by a “special offer” at Recruit Training for a fourth choice of what I wanted my specialty to be, when there were only three blocks on the form for choices. There was a series of duty assignments that were not usual, and one very irritated officer who made assignments indicated that he had been overruled by someone with clout who got us pulled out of the Aleutians in time for you to be born in California.

The second is that attitudes change over time toward the military. This is a relatively benign time for veterans and they get respect and aid. In a different time they would have been called “baby killers” and spat upon. In another time, they would have been ignored and told that they were unneeded and should find real work. The service people are much the same in each case but the culture’s view of them does change. Our honored vets could be demonized at any time, or ignored. This isn’t a new thing. Call it military relativism. Rudyard Kipling captured it in “The Ballad of Tommy Atkins”. I paraphrase:

Oh its Tommy this and Tommy that

And Tommy, step aside.

But its “Special Train for Atkins”

When the trooper’s on the tide.

Whatever they do or say about us, stand tall, people, and soldier on.

SHANNON: Thanks, Dad. I appreciate you taking the time to share your insights. I hope we’ve helped bring some insight and understanding about veterans that people may not otherwise have thought about and raise awareness.

JOHN C. MUIR, in addition to working with electronics in and out of the Navy for his entire career, remains an avid reader and spent years writing Play by Mail game review articles for all the major magazines in the 1980s and 1990s (PAPER MAYHEM, FLAGSHIP [U.S.], GAMING UNIVERSAL); at one point, we both appeared with separate articles in issues of PAPER MAYHEM on a couple occasions as I got my start there writing Play by Mail opinion and fiction pieces. Also, he thought material like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis made good bedtime stories for young girls such as my little sister and myself. My admiration of hobbits is all thanks to him.

If you comment to my blog post and provide an email address – whether to share your own experiences, or what you learned – you’ll be eligible for a FREE copy of my ebook THE HEART’S DUTY via Smashwords, which offers it in multiple formats. It’ll also enter you to win a brand new Kindle. Also, you will help get ebooks to troops as the proceeds of this tour go toward the purchase of Kindles for troops, and I’ll provide free copies of THE HEART’S DUTY as well.

Thanks for being a part of Blog Tour de Troops, and don’t forget to keep touring to Jennie Coughlin’s blog!



1. rogier (@rocapri) - November 12, 2011

tnx 4 great message


2. shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you so much for responding! I’m going to let my Dad know about everyone’s responses as well. This topic means a lot to both of us and he was happy to help. Glad you appreciated it. – Shannon

3. Leslie (@Kindle3User) - November 12, 2011

I am thankful to all of our service men, women, and families for all they do and the sacrifices they make.

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for taking the time to share that. It’s always good to know they are appreciated. – Shannon

4. Goh Yee Ching - November 12, 2011

Thanks for being part of this tour!
That’s an insightful interview with your dad ^^


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I’m very glad you appreciated it! – Shannon

5. aobibliophile™ - November 12, 2011

hi Shannon! that was a wonderful interview. it provided me more insight into the lives, hopes and dreams of our troops. thanks to your Dad for sharing his experiences and wisdom with us.

thanks to you as well for your contribution to the troops and for being a part of this tour.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I learned a lot too myself. Unfortunately, especially because the size of where I live (Los Angeles county), it’s too easy to think of the successful vet, the homeless vet, or the gravely crippled vet. While all these categories do need our respect and attention, what about these folks in the middle trying to readjust and get by? Especially the ones whose issues aren’t physically obvious? I’m glad to know the ones going back to school do have resources available to them on some campuses, and really hope this is the exception not the rule anymore. – Shannon

6. Eileen and Melissa B (@Ginger_High) - November 12, 2011

What a great interview. Thanks for participating in the event

eileen at booksrusonline.com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Glad you really liked it! – Shannon

7. Pamela Bachmayer - November 12, 2011

thank you!
pamela at pbdesigns dot biz

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

You are very welcome! – Shannon

8. Andrea Tobolski Grendahl - November 12, 2011

Thank you for taking part in this tour and most of all thanks to all the members in our troops.

andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

It is definitely about them first and foremost. Yes there is some promotion for us along the way and all, but for me that’s just something extra I can do. If this interview can somehow make a life better for a vet somewhere who struggles with readjustment as he or she educates while finding a new career – or if the lessons here can be helpful other ways as well – that would be worth it most to me. – Shannon

9. BJ (@JetGibbs) - November 12, 2011

Thanks so much to you, Shannon, and to your father for his experiences. My father was out of the Navy before I was born, but many of the things your father has said about joining up were similar to the reasons mine had explained. Sadly, my father died as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange at the age of 44–so young 😦

Thanks again, to you and your father for sharing, and for participating in the blog tour! My email address is DiNozzoGibbs @ gmail. com and I look forward to reading your book!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for sharing that, too. People in the service take a lot of risks for us, sometimes in clear and obvious ways in a war in-country, and sometimes in ways that aren’t. Again, thank you for responding and sharing. – Shannon

10. Holly Catherwood-Geoffroy - November 12, 2011

Thank you for participating in the amazing cause 🙂 and thank you to your father for the wonderful interview and sharing his experiences


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

It definitely has been well worth my time and I’ve enjoyed being up alongside so many other authors who decided to be involved as well. I hope you’ve all been visiting their sites and taking a look as well. – Shannon

11. Heather Powers - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting the troops and for this interview with your Dad.

earthsbooknook at gmail dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for your comment and the help it will give to bring reading materials to the troops. – Shannon

12. Toni Rakestraw (@ToniRakestraw) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting the troops! 🙂

reikibirth at gmail dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for leaving a comment that will help provide reading material for the troops. – Shannon

13. Brittany Carrigan - November 12, 2011

Thank you for being a part of this!!

brittanyrose40 AT yahoo DOT com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

It’s a two way street. The power of the blog tour is in the comments that you and others like you are making. Thanks to you as well. – Shannon

14. Alexandra Ann Montoya-Hankey - November 12, 2011

Thank you so much for supporting our troops and sharing this with us! A special shout out to my father in law who is a Vietnam Vet and has a Purple Heart among other medals!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for sharing about your Dad as well! – Shannon

15. Alexandra Ann Montoya-Hankey - November 12, 2011

whoops! nook_heartnsole at yahoo dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Got it! – Shannon

16. alchemyofscrawl - November 12, 2011

Just stopping by to say Hi! from alchemyofscrawl. Wishing you a great tour! Please donate my copy to a soldier. 🙂

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Absolutely, will do! The generosity is appreciated! – Shannon

17. Anme Burgess - November 12, 2011

Thank you, John, for your service and for participating in this interesting interview. I wasn’t aware that the GI Bill was established so late. I had always thought that it was created closer to the end of WWII than it actually had.

It was interesting to see his pathway through the armed services, it seems as labrithine as it is now.

Thank you for participating in this great tour, I look forward to reading your book!
melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Truthfully, I thought the GI Bill came earlier too, that was one of many things I learned getting to talk with my Dad. A bigger lesson here in general is don’t let those opportunities slip by in your life when you have them to learn more about the people around you. Thanks for sharing. – Shannon

18. Fiery Na (@FieryNa) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for a wonderful post. My dad is a hero to me too although he’s not a veteran but a survivor from a war torn country. I’m thankful to my dad, and my family for giving me a chance at a better life and teaching me to love. They motivate and inspire me every day. I’m so happy my comment will mean more troops gets books.


19. Betty Vickery - November 12, 2011

Thank you for sharing that glimpse into the life of a soldier.
As the wife of a soldier currently deployed, I must say the reasons for Enlisting haven’t changed much. Thank you for supportingour troops.


My loving Soldier:

provert247 AT gmail DOT com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you so much for commenting! I do agree, I don’t think the reasons for enlisting have changed too much. In my Dad’s case he’s the oldest of 6 kids, with 21 years between his sister (the youngest) and himself; she’s only about 8 years older than I am. In other cases, men and women are trying to support families they already have when they enlist. I’ll send you a code and I’ve noted your specific request for the other book as well and will see that the organizers get it. Thank you again. – Shannon

20. Marianne Barkman - November 12, 2011

Thankyou for your great interview with your Dad. It gave me a glimpse into a world i can’t imagine. Thankyou too, for participating in this tour. i look forward to reading your novel.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I’m glad you appreciated it, and thanks for the comment! I’d look forward to hearing what you or anyone else thinks of it in the form of honest reviews, if people are comfortable with that. – Shannon

21. acm05 - November 12, 2011

Thanks for participating in the tour and donating books.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to comment and make a difference. – Shannon

22. Laurie Jenkins (@lauriej170) - November 12, 2011

What a super interview! Thanks so much for sharing it! I am so happy to comment and support this worthy cause so our troops can get books.
Lauriej170 at gmail dot com

23. Tracy Riva - November 12, 2011

Thank your dad for his willingness, not only to serve but also to share his experiences. I’m sure having an instructor like him makes it easier on the vets who are fortunate enough to have him as a teacher.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Actually, my Dad works on staff, which means he interacts with all kinds of people. He’s the one all the teachers (and students in the lab) turn to in order to make sure things aren’t working right. He was well liked as a teacher though when he taught Conversational English at a major Japanese corporation when I was a little girl, so I know he can do that too. Thanks for commenting! – Shannon

24. Krissie Ang - November 12, 2011

Thank you for this great cause for our troops. Hope you get more comments so more troops will get more books. pringpringles(at)yahoo(dot)com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for your support! Make sure to check out the other authors as well. – Shannon

25. Karen Jake - November 12, 2011

I used to send care packages via ‘Books for Soldiers’, and this is an awesome way to continue that effort!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Karen, I see you didn’t publicly put up an email for yourself. I’m going to presume from your comment you want what would be your copy donated unless you get back in touch and let me know otherwise. You can post your address the way others have to avoid spambots. Thanks so much! – Shannon

26. theresa9696 - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting our Troops!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting with your comment! – Shannon

27. Amanda Wimer - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting our troops in such a generous manner! I know that each and every book received will be greatly appreciated! And thank you for allowing me to be a part of it through you!


28. WL (@chibii3) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting the troops! This tour is a wonderful idea!


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for commenting to help make the power of the tour possible! – Shannon

29. Ruby Meek (@Ruby95660) - November 12, 2011

This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for supporting our troops!


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for your comment in support of our troops! Credit goes to the Indie Book Collective. – Shannon

30. magluvsya03 - November 12, 2011

Thanks so much for that great interview! I have so much respect for out soldiers! Thank you again!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I’m glad that I could do something helpful and informative and raise donations for troops at the same time thanks to the organization of the Indie Book Collective. Thanks for helping to make it happen! – Shannon

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for showing your support and leaving a comment! – Shannon

31. Rhonda Laney - November 12, 2011

Thank you and Thank you to all who have served to protect our Freedom thank you. rlrlaney at yahoo dot com

32. Joseph Rinaldo (@jmrinaldo) - November 12, 2011

Awesome interview! You must be so proud.
Please give my copy of the book to another soldier. Thanks.
Joe Rinaldo

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I’ve got that noted, thanks for the comment Joe!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Joe, I’ve noted that and thank you so much for the comment! – Shannon

33. Don Cox - November 12, 2011

Thanks for being part of the tour and supporting the troops!


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for leaving a comment and participating! – Shannon

34. nancyg5997 - November 12, 2011

This was such a wonderful interview with your dad, and I enjoyed reading it. Thanks to men (and women) like him, we are a strong and free society.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I am glad that you liked it and found it wonderful. Yes, those men and women take up a lot for us, every day, indeed. – Shannon

35. BrainRants - November 12, 2011

Shannon, this is amazing. My father served in WW II, as did my maternal grandfather. I am currently close enough to 20 years in the Army to smell it from here, and love each day. Your dad sounds like an amazing man.

I would like it if you please shake his hand for me and tell him I said thanks. Without guys like him, I’d have little to defend today.

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I absolutely will let him know, and shake his hand at the next opportunity I get. Thank you for posting! Since you didn’t leave an email address on the board, I will send your copy on to a soldier unless you post again with a preferred email address. Thanks again! – Shannon

36. Rachel Pate-Vessar - November 12, 2011

Thank you for the interview and thank your dad also. I look forward to you reading your book.

pefrw (at) yahoo (dot) com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you very much for the compliments and I just sent the coupon your way. – Shannon

37. Joannie Sparks (@joannie1956) - November 12, 2011

joannie sparks on November 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm said:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I am grateful for being alive since have been disabled for almost 2- years to be able to spend time with my grandchild and great grandchildren. Here is my little story

hi i am a War orphan from the Vietnam Era and i want to thank you so much for the support everyone is giving the soliders. Because when i was growing up we did not recieve any support and i pray that does never ever happen again because it was the hardest time for my mom left in a new city with no family and a house full of kids. I want you to know She Loved my Father so much she never Re-married or even dated.. He is one of the first sent over in 1962 never heard from again his whole group. So to this day know one but the govenment really know what happend All i want is to know what happened to all those men with my father and for every man and women to come back home safe.. Thanks Joannie jscddmj [at] aol [dot] com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Joannie – thank you for having the courage to share you personal story. – Shannon

38. lostbowyer - November 12, 2011

Thanks for a wonderful post. This is a good thing you are doing!


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for the compliment! – Shannon

39. The Lotus Blossom (@DMKenyon) - November 12, 2011

When you speak to your father next, tell him “thank you” for me. I enjoyed your interview with your father. All daughters should do that regardless of whether or not their fathers have served in the military. This is a part of him you should know and now you do. Thank you for sharing your dad with us. And thanks for being part of this tour.

Very truly yours,
D. M. Kenyon
author at lotus blossom book dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you very much for your kind words, D.M., and you make an excellent point indeed. – Shannon

40. Christy Gibbon (@chgib) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for donating your work to a great cause and for brightening the day of many soldiers. christygibbon at juno dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Appreciate the comment! Thanks so much for stopping by. – Shannon

41. Sally Michele Shaw - November 12, 2011

Thanks for participating in the tour and thank your dad for guesting at your interview. I enjoyed reading his thoughts.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I will make sure to thank him, and thank you for reading and commenting! – Shannon

42. Andrea Ariail - November 12, 2011

Thank you for supporting our troops this way (and I have to say that I’m going to enjoy it too). My father, husband and brother-in-law have all served or are currently serving and anything that supports our troops is near and dear to my heart.
Thanks again,

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Always good to hear from people who have other family members serving. Thanks for showing your support! – Shannon

43. Enoch Branard (@EnochBranard) - November 12, 2011

Thanks for the interview, really cool :)!


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Glad you thought so, thanks for letting me know! – Shannon

44. Amelia2325 (@Amelia2325) - November 12, 2011

What a wonderful way to say thank you to our troops for all they’ve done. My dad served in the Korean war.

Have a great weekend. Thank you for doing this.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you to your father for his service as well, and for taking the time to comment and show your support! – Shannon

45. Michelle Thomas - November 12, 2011

Very good interview. Thank you for participating in this tour as it is a very good cause and I’m happy to see so many authors coming together to do something special for our troops. shadow31071 (at) suddenlink (dot) net

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Glad you liked the interview and for letting us know you appreciate the efforts, as well as participating too, because the tour’s not fully effective without the comments! – Shannon

46. Jesi Lea Ryan (@Jesilea) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for participating in the Blog Tour de Troops! Such a good cause.



shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for the comment of support! – Shannon

47. Krysta Banco (@YearofTiger86) - November 12, 2011

Great interview, thank you for serving.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for your comment and support! – Shannon

48. Ardee-ann Eichelmann (@ardee_sagemoon) - November 12, 2011

Shannon, thank you for interviewing your father and for sharing his story with us. I learned about the changes and trials a seaman goes through in his career. I wish I could have interviewed my grandfather and gotten his story from WWII. Your interview made me cry. Thank you again for what you are doing as part of Blog Tour de Troops.




shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for your kind note. I like knowing when I’ve made an impact for my readers and hope our efforts do the same for the troops. – Shannon

49. Brian Jeffreys (@Starwisp_Writer) - November 12, 2011

Shannon, thank you for giving us the insight from the interview with your dad. Please express my thanks to your dad for sharing it with us.

Thanks for being part of the tour.


brjf [at] yahoo [dot] com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I will make sure to let him know! Thank you so much for participating with your comment! – Shannon

50. tagrendar - November 12, 2011

Your dad sounds like a pretty neat kind of guy!

Another author on the tour stopping by to lend support and stand up and be counted for a soldier to snag an e-book.

This is pretty awesome stuff, guys, and I’m really honored to be a part of it.

~ Erin M. Klitzke

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I always appreciate when other authors stop by! I’ve looked at a lot, but I’ll probably end up doing the whole circuit myself on Monday. I’m proud to be part of this too! – Shannon

51. janey2 - November 12, 2011

Had a message typed in then discovered I needed to be registered with WordPress. So … here I am – back again!

Thank you for being part of this Blog Tour de Troops. And thank the military personnel as well for us being able to do this. (In some countries the Internet is not free – that is, one cannot write about anything and everything.)
And please thank your father for personalizing what service life can be like.
Shannon, I too, thought that without active service one was not a vet. And i learned here that I was wrong.

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

It’s kind of an overcompensation I think, people who go above and beyond in service weren’t well recognized at points in the past so when that did happen these folks became pointed out as “veterans”. But there really are “combat veterans” and “non-combat veterans”. Any one who serves is by definition a veteran. Your point about Internet and that we have the freedom to do this is well taken as well. Also, you didn’t put an email address in your post (some people do not want books sent to the address their blog is registered to); if you do want one please post a reply to this or I’ll add it to the donated ones for troops. Thanks! – Shannon

52. tweezle - November 12, 2011

Shannon, please thank your father. Amazing interview!
Your book looks like a fantastic read.
Thank you for generosity and doing this for our troops!

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

I’m glad you enjoyed the interview and are looking forward to the book. Don’t forget that if you do like a book you can help an author out further (any author, not just me) by posting reviews at Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads. – Shannon

53. Alan Thomas - November 12, 2011

Thanks for supporting the troops. Please send my copy to the troops as well. Thanks again.

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thank you for your comment Alan and I’ve made a note of it! – Shannon

54. msmjb65 - November 12, 2011

Thanks for being part of the tour!
msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for commenting and participating! – Shannon

55. Denise Zaky (@ZDz59001) - November 12, 2011

Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview with us today and for your participation in this event honoring our veterans on their day and giving to our troops the joy of a good book. You are appreciated.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Hi, thanks for showing your appreciation not only to me but to our troops by leaving a comment to help get them reading material! – Shannon

56. Allyson Bright Meyer - November 12, 2011

Hello! Thanks for the free read – I’m excited to read your book. Also, thanks for supporting our troops!!

allyreads81 at gmail dot com

shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for the comment and support! – Shannon

57. jessiebluez11 - November 12, 2011

Always good to find the road to move on. Always good advice, especially for me.


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Glad if you found something there of personal help as well, thanks for commenting! – Shannon

58. Lindsey English Anderson - November 12, 2011

Fantastic interview. I agree….views on military does change often…look at the response to military in Vietnam compared to troops leaving for war after 911? Complete difference.

Thank you for contributing.
THank you Dad too.:)


shannonmuir - November 12, 2011

Thanks for the compliments and for commenting to help the troops earn reading material! – Shannon

59. Candy Waggener - November 13, 2011

thank you for supporting the troops

shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for commenting, Candy! – Shannon

60. Meghan Guarnieri - November 13, 2011

Thank you for our troops, and thank you for being a part of this. It is such an amazing thing that all you authors are doing! I cannot wait to read a copy of your book.


shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for commenting, I’ll get you a coupon later today! – Shannon

61. Kathryn Anne Merkel - November 13, 2011

Thanks Shannon for having your dad tell his story. I hadn’t thought about the many ways PTSD can manifest itself, until this summer when I had a chance to spend some time with a cousin who served in Desert Storm. The interview with your dad really clarified a few things I didn’t understand at the time.

drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks, I’m glad it helped. Will send coupon if you provide a desired email address otherwise I will donate to troops. Thanks. – Shannon

62. Christine Cunningham - November 13, 2011

Showing gratitude towards soldiers takes on a whole new meaning when you are related to one. Wonderful post!

shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Coupon later today! – Shannon

63. RandaWrites - November 13, 2011

Thank you for sharing! Thank you to all Veteran’s and those still serving today!!


shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for your comment! Just mailing coupons now. – Shannon

64. Miranda WyattMills - November 13, 2011

What a great post! Thank you for being a part of this event. As a military wife it makes my heart swell to see all the comments and support going around!


shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks so much for leaving a comment! – Shannon

65. Carol Lena - November 13, 2011

Thank you for having your father share his share his story with us. It was very inspiring.


shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thank you for the comment! – Shannon

66. Marie Edwards - November 13, 2011

Thank you and your father for sharing this. Very inspiring. Thank you for participating in this tour for the troops.


shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for the comment of appreciation. Your coupoon will follow in the next couple hours. – Shannon

shannonmuir - November 13, 2011

Thanks for sharing about your family! Coupon to follow in a couple hours. Thanks! – Shannon

67. Tammi Hagberg - November 13, 2011

I really enjoyed your interview with your dad. Thank you so much for the support of the troops of the past, present and the future. I know they appreciate it. At least the ones I talked to, my Uncle was in Germany, Jeff( my son in law) was in Bagdad, and my vet Kate is now stationed in Afganistan.
Thank you for all your hard work!

shannonmuir - November 15, 2011

Tammi, sorry for the late reply. I was on the road on Sunday and I thought my response sent from my Blackberry. Thank you so much for sharing! – Shannon

68. Melissa K Sandahl - November 14, 2011

I’m so glad there’s another Tour de Troops!! Can’t wait to see if there’s more comments than Memorial Day! What a great way to give our troops a little escape in a book while they are away from home and at war. Thanks IndieBookCollective!!

I also grew up a Navy Brat, so I greatly appreciate the sacrifice of our military and their families! As a former Navy Brat, I know the families definitely serve and sacrifice also! Luckily, my dad wasn’t sent to war (he was enlisted during the 70’s) but he had A LOT of sea duty and was out to sea for months at a time! He missed many birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We moved around the country a lot. So another big sacrifice was that we changed schools a lot (7 times in one school year moving from Virginia to California – literally coast to coast), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I am so proud of his service. Just as I am so incredibly proud of all the heroic men and women fighting for us today whether they are overseas or stateside, they are all important to our nation. I can’t wait to see them all coming home, hopefully soon.

I would like the troop book to go to my cousin Zachary Neer serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan.

Thanks for the free book – can’t wait to read your story!
missyebookmail (AT) mediacombb (DOT) net

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thanks for your comment, from one Navy Brat to another. I only moved a couple of times since I was born later in my Dad’s career, but knew many who grew up like you. I’ll talk to the IBC about how to arrange your specific donation request. – Shannon

69. sugarpeach - November 14, 2011

Thank you for the wonderful and insightful interview, Shannon and Mr. Muir!
I’d like my copy of the book to be donated to a soldier selected by the IBC (my soldier doesn’t read books in this genre).

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Absolutely glad to do so! Writing the kind of issues that I do, I can understand that women’s issues/romance style books aren’t a fit for everyone. That will make your comment equal TWO books for the troops (the one I would have sent you and the one to be regularly donated to troops/specified soldiers). Thank you for the generosity. – Shannon

70. Ashley Perkins Barry - November 14, 2011

Thank you for your support of our troops! This is my second year following the book tour. Thanks again.

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thank you for your comment, the full support doesn’t happen without all of your comments! – Shannon

71. Diamond Skye - November 14, 2011

loved the interview. You’re father is pretty amazing! Thanks for the book. can’t wait to read it
diamondskye20 at yahoo dot com

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Glad you liked the interview. The book coupon is on its way! – Shannon

72. Elizabeth Stanley - November 14, 2011

Great interview! Thanks for your participation and supporting our troops.

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thanks so much for your comment and for enjoying the interview. – Shannon

73. Barbara Jean Lay - November 14, 2011

thanks for supproting our troops God bLESS YOU AND YOURS. AND gOD bLESS OUR TROOPS. elvisbaby44@yahoo.com

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thanks for your comment! – Shannon

74. Jeryl Tuckman Marcus - November 14, 2011

Thanks for particpating in such a good cause.


shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thanks for letting me know your appreciation, it means a lot. Also thanks for your participation! – Shannon

75. KO (@k_oland) - November 14, 2011

Thank you for your support and the ebook

kolists a\t gmail dt com

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

You are very welcome and thanks for the comment! – Shannon

76. Linda Kujaca - November 14, 2011

Thanks for the interview and the chance to read your book!
wanda72 at aol dot com

77. Pinky's Pub - November 14, 2011


Thanks for being part of the tour.

To all of the women & men of the military, thank you for everything you do, the sacrifices you make, and for keeping our country safe! To the families of those in the military, thank you for the sacrifices you make each and every day.


shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thanks for expressing your appreciation both for the tour, but also for the men and women of the armed forces! – Shannon

78. doyne - November 14, 2011

thanks for participating in the Tour de Troops. As an army veteran of multiple deployments, I can assure you that reading provides sanity and a chance to explore worlds outside the dust/rain/dirt of the present un-fun. With the advent of eBook readers it has become even easier to read, try new authors and to feel less cut off from the world.

sincerely – Holly (prosekniticATyahooDOTde)

shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Holly, thank you for taking the time to comment! It’s good to hear from other veterans on these tours as well. Your service, and your time to comment, I greatly appreciate. – Shannon

79. Janice Marie Pollard - November 14, 2011

This is such a wonderful way to express our respect and appreciation for all our troops! Thank to them..and thanks to you for doing this!


shannonmuir - November 14, 2011

Thank you so much for your comment as well! – Shannon

80. Marites Orias - November 14, 2011

Thanks for supporting the troops.


shannonmuir - November 19, 2011

Marty – I don’t know if WordPress had a glitch or exactly what happened because this only now showed up to approve and I definitely logged in to check after the promotion had expired. Based on your timestamp I will honor the coupon. Sorry for the delay.

81. Barbara Ackley - November 14, 2011

Your dad reinforced what I’ve always felt; that there is so much a military person has had to endure & experience that I would never be able to understand or appreciate fully. They make sacrifices that impact them emotionally & only someone who has walked in their shoes can comprehend the cost.

Ann Charles’ blog asked about our favorite war movies & I realized that the ones that made the biggest impression were those that gave the most realistic feeling for what it must have been like, but not necessarily the ones that were the most ‘enjoyable’ or best ‘entertainment’. I’m so thankful that I have never had to experience war & hope my grandchildren never do. For which I can thank our service personnel.

Thanks for supporting them with free books & allowing me to participate.

ackleybj {at} verizon {dot} net

shannonmuir - November 19, 2011

Barbara – I don’t know if WordPress had a glitch or what because this only now showed up to approve and I definitely logged in to check after the promotion had expired. Based on your timestamp I will honor the coupon. Sorry for the delay.

82. After BLOG TOUR DE TROOPS – Veterans Day 2011 « Shannon Muir's Animated Insights: The Blog - November 21, 2011

[…] college where he’s been for two decades – and the result of our efforts can be read here (though please note I am no longer giving away copies of the book for responses. Commenting would […]

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