An interview with Ex Special Forces Soldier for Walk Through the Valley: Book 1 Zombie Novel
During the research phase of writing my first novel Walk Through the Valley: Book 1, I interviewed several veterans. Towards the end of an interview with a certain cocky Special Forces soldier, I asked him if he could go back, would he do it all over again? After hearing a small amount of what he’d been through, I assumed his answer would be no. He didn’t hesitate for even the briefest moment to reply. It was no doubt something he had already spent many nights contemplating.
He answered yes, he would do it all again. In out there, he felt highs and lows that civilian life simply could not recreate. That after coming home, he never again felt that sense of knowing… knowing that the man next to him would do everything to keep him safe, that they could be relied on through thick and thin. Within certain parts of his life-perhaps the most important parts-he never felt a moment of doubt. While the fear of death always haunted the air, it had a way of making things sweeter. Even the mundane held more value in those times.
At the end of the interview, right as I was about to thank him for his time, he shook my hand and thanked me for listening, saying several times that I’d never understand how much that meant, because in truth he had never talked about any of it before.
It was in that moment that I felt so small. I realized that for all my talk of supporting our troops, that day was the first time I ever actually did something for one, and truthfully it was half on accident.
I told him this, and he chuckled and said that a man can’t hate himself for how he arrived at his epiphany, for every step before that must have needed to happen in that exact way. He just had to make sure that such an epiphany was never wasted.
Suddenly, I was afraid to write the novel. I felt stupid for even trying. They go out and risk their lives and my response is to write a novel that combines their stories with zombies? How asinine is that?
Again, he laughed. He told me to finish the book, and never stop writing or he’d kick my ass.”
Soldiers are strong individuals, so strong we sometimes view them as invincible beings who will never need anyone’s help. Yet, it is in the giant’s life that small things hold so much wonder. Something as simple as a forgiving ear can be sadly foreign, and hold overwhelming value to a warrior.
Thanks for reading,
Support Our Troops
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