Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembering Our Veterans by Writing By Rick Barry

We all love to honor our veterans, and author Rick Barry does it in a unique way. A mighty "thank you" to all like my dad, father-in-law, and husband who served! -- Sandy

Rick: Is Veterans Day just another day on the calendar to you? Or does that holiday evoke the emotions it deserves?

Of course, not every person who enlists in the armed forces of the United States ends up fighting a war. However, each person who has either enlisted or responded to a draft notice understands there is always the chance he or she will become a target. Those who accepted that danger and put on the uniform deserve to be remembered and honored.

One way to honor vets is to ask permission to shake their hand and thank them for serving their country. Other ways include beautifying a deceased vet’s grave, or anonymously paying the tab for a vet eating in a restaurant.

Personally, I like to remember veterans with my keyboard. Ever since 7th grade when I happened to watch the World War II movie The Great Escape, I have read countless true accounts of men and women who found themselves caught up in the conflict. Some stories have happy endings. Many don’t.

When I began writing for publication, I naturally gravitated to events connected to WWII. With the aid of research and imagination, I enjoy cracking open the pages of history and writing articles, short stories, and now novels to keep the sacrifices of “the Greatest Generation” in modern readers’ minds.

My first WWII novel, Gunner’s Run, stars a 19-year-old who accidentally tumbles out the open bomb bay

of a B-24 while on a mission. Thanks to his chest parachute, Jim Yoder survives. But there he is, alone and on foot in the last place he wants to be—Nazi Germany. (Odd events really happened.) That book was first released in 2007, and recently JourneyForth Books reprinted it a third time. I’m thankful for its role in “bringing alive” the dangers of that bygone era for modern readers. (One school teacher told me she reads a chapter of Gunner’s Run a day to her classes to help them picture those events of 70 years ago.)

On September 27 of this year, Kregel released my latest novel, The Methuselah Project, a suspense story about a captured P-47 pilot. Instead of taking Captain Roger Greene to a regular POW camp, his captors use him as a guinea pig in a hush-hush German experiment meant to outlast the war. The story is highly imaginative, the result of my combining genuine history with a huge “What if?” One Amazon reviewer calls it the “ultimate Past Meets Present story.” (Speaking of reviews, I praise God that 95% of reviews for The Methuselah Project fairly glow. Its combination of history, suspense, romance, plus a tinge of speculative truly appeals to a wide range of readers. Hallelujah!)

So, no matter how you personally do it, please pause to remember our nation’s veterans. As the old cliché states, freedom isn’t free. Veterans past and present paid the price for the freedom you and I enjoy today.

Do you have a veteran you'd like to honor today?


Rick Barry holds a degree in teaching foreign languages, speaks Russian, and has visited Europe more than 50 times in connection with Christian ministries. He has authored over 200 published articles and short stories, plus three novels. A writer with an adventurous spirit, Rick has jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, visited WWII battlefields and cemeteries in France, climbed mountains in Colorado, and explored evacuated buildings in Chernobyl, Ukraine, among other personal adventures. Visit him at...
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