I hope you’re having a wonderful Holiday Season. A LOT has been going on in my writing world that I wanted to share with you.
I dedicated High Country Rebel, HQN, July 2013, to Operation Gratitude, one of the charities that I support. They send CARE boxes. Each is addressed to a specific person, so that they are not forgotten by any of us. To get a box that has YOUR NAME on it carries a powerful emotional impact of positive good. It makes the service man or woman feel like they are special, that they really are thought of by all of us. Having been in the US Navy, I know what its like to be far away from my parents and home. And getting a package was one of the best things in the world for me. And that hasn’t changed to this day.
Carolyn Blashek, who created Operation Gratitude, invited me out to put a copy of High Country Rebel into the “Millionth Box” that they have sent to our service people. It was indeed an honor.
I drove out there to take part in the festivities on December 7, 2013. Along with me was Chief Michael Jaco, US Navy SEAL, retired. He had been asked to put in another of my books, Down Range, into the “Millionth and One” box.
Harlequin, my publisher, had also donated 5,000 books by their authors to Op Grat so that a book could be put in each box. I am so proud of them and to be an author with a publishing company with such a great heart. But they are the only publisher in the world that is focused solely on LOVE. So why wouldn’t they do heart-charity related gifts to them? I’m proud to be one of their authors.
I got to put the copy of High Country Rebel into the Millionth box. What a great honor and joy it was. Chief Jaco got to put a copy of Down Range in the same box. Later, it was taken out and put into the “Millionth and One” Box. Chief Jaco also donated 500 of his book, The Intuitive Warrior to Operation Gratitude, as well. He’s such a hero! To know more about Chief Jaco, go to his website, http://www.michaeljaco.com.
Then, two days after, the Today Show, NBC, showed who had received the “Millionth Box.” She is Petty Officer Brook Oakerman who is aboard the USS Gettysburg. And she got a copy of High Country Rebel! I hope she enjoys the story because it’s about a former US Navy SEAL coming home, trying to cobble his war torn life together once more. It is part of my popular Wyoming Series!
Brook Oakerman is the first woman to win one of the milestone boxes (100,000th, 200,000th thousandth box) and I was so happy to see a woman get the box! 15% of our military is comprised of women and they deserve this, too. Brook was just recently married and Today Show had her husband, who was left behind, on to show her receiving the Millionth Box on board the USS Gettysburg. He was happy to hear there was a set of keys in the box and she won a Ford 150 truck, as well. Hooyah.
Below are photos of my time at Operation Gratitude at the Van Nuys, California National Guard Armory. To learn more about this incredible charity that supports not only our military members overseas, but our veterans from other conflicts, the military families and children, go to: http://www.operationgratitude.org.
And to view NBC Nightly News piece on Brook Oakerman receiving the Millionth Box aboard the USS Gettysburg, go here: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/53815665#53815665.
And here are the photos!