Timeless Honor

Version 2

Yesterday, I had the very distinct and personal honor to visit the World War II Pacific Memorials at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On vacation with my family over Christmas week, we had scheduled months out to visit the Memorial, and especially the USS Arizona Memorial on Tuesday. Little did we know that the President of the United States had a similar plan, and we were not invited!

So, the Mercer clan punted to the next day…thank you Mr. President. If you have not had the opportunity to visit the Memorials, then you are not aware of the fact that there are a limited number of tickets – 1,300 free tickets, to be exact, and you need to be in line to receive the tickets by 7:00A.M. Thanks to a longer than planned stop at Starbucks to wake the troops, we arrived ten minutes later than the suggested time. That mistake was on us…can’t blame the Commander-in-Chief for everything.

Regardless of the miss in time, we had the chance to stand in line with over 2,000 other humans from around the world, which wanted to see the Memorials…or, most specifically, the Arizona. While in line we met a few families, some of the nicest people, really. There was the family with the Navy dad in front of us, and the sweet old couple that asked us if they could politely wait/cut in line with us. The old guy was a Marine, and had served in Alabama at one time.

As we approached the ticket window a true sense or realism blanketed the crowd, it was time to raise the Colors. First, there was a call to attention, and every Park employee and military person stopped what they were doing, faced the direction of the flag and stood as straight and proud as they could. Most civilians understood what was happening and also politely turned towards the flag…caps were removed from the tops of heads…hands placed on hearts…a silence fell that I will always remember, and the National Anthem played.

As the notes from the Star Spangled Banner played, people sang the words, some hummed, and I did a little of both. It was about a third of the way through the Anthem when several things/feelings/emotions filled my head. This was a December day, at Pearl Harbor, probably very similar to the one 75 years ago. I saw several older veterans amongst the crowd, saluting with a lifetime of service and honor. I could almost hear the souls of the men and women who had died at this hallowed place, humming beside me. The feeling was warming, and made me VERY proud to be an American.

Within the minute, the song came to a close. The flag was secured, and the still crowd thawed from their spots. There were a few that applauded, but most picked back up with their conversations in the line. My wife and son leaned into me and complained about several Japanese tourists that continued to talk during the Anthem. I had not heard them, but just shook my head, my anger would never change their ideals of respect…in fact, the sheer number of Japanese touring the Memorials was shocking, but I think I’ll save that observation for another blog.

Unfortunately we were about 50 people shy of getting tickets for the Arizona, but fortunately we did get the opportunity to explore the USS Missouri – WOW, what a ship! I’ve been on a few battleships, but never an Iowa Class battleship! We had the good graces to have Joe, a Veteran of Vietnam, be our guide. Joe brought passion and a sense of duty to our tour, and brought my wife and I to tears when he choked up during a Q&A session about the number of people that died during WWII. dsc_0095

And that is just it, this place; this hallowed water, is a place of tears, pride, service, duty and sacrifice. It is a memorial to those that rode the tip of the spear so that the rest of us could go on. Pearl Harbor serves as a memorial, a reminder of what’s important, and as a tomb to those that need us to remember. I will always remember, my family will always remember, and if you have the chance to visit, I hope that you will come away with the same sense of honor that I felt, just to have visited.

To learn more about these fantastic pieces of American history, see: www.pacifichistoricparks.org

May God bless our country and those that protect Her.

Peace —

GAM

Books by G. Allen Mercer

Worst Case Scenario Series:

This brand new action adventure series follows Ian, Leah and Grace Burrows after the unthinkable has happened; a foreign country has detonated nuclear bombs on US soil in and has launched an invasion force.

Their family is prepared for almost any emergency, but they never imagined that they would actually face their worst case scenario; a massive attack on America while the family is spread apart from each other.

Worst Case Scenario: Book 1

Worst Case Scenario: Book 2 Bug Out

Worst Case Scenario: Book 3 Invasion

Worst Case Scenario: Book 4 The State

Worst Case Scenario: Book 5 Militia

Worst Case Scenario: Book 6 War Dawgs

Collapsing World Series:

Teen brother and sister, Jack and Lucy, are trapped under the Atlanta airport after a nuclear bomb has been detonated in downtown Atlanta. Join them as they fight to survive what comes next.

Collapsing World: Book 1

Collapsing World: Kill Zone – Book 2

Collapsing World: Stolen Treasure – Book 3 (Spring 2017)

Underlying Grace Series

Underlying Grace Series:

Have you ever questioned what God might have in store for your life? In this work of fiction, Neil Abrams and his family find themselves in the crossroads of this very question. The Underlying Grace series is action, questions and belief all rolled into compelling stories about the will to survive…and thrive!

Book 1: Underlying Grace

Book 2: Mighty To Save

 

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Who Is Your Hero?

Version 2

In my fiction stories, I often put average people in situations of peril where the vast majority of people around them would crumble under similar circumstances. In reality, most people would actually succumb under such compelling life and death conditions. But it doesn’t take a calamity, a natural disaster or an attack by terrorists to propel a seemingly innocuous person into the realm of being a hero.

Our society makes heroes out to be super human, often possessing a power, or an extraordinary skill, or at the very least a mask and a cape. Although this is a glorified portrait of the stereotype, those with impressionable minds see the caped wonders as the only saviors from earth’s peril and having moral majority on being a savior.

In my first book in the Worst Case Scenario series I attribute my talents as gifts of God, and leave the reader with this final acknowledgment: Heroes will rise, Heroes will fall, Jesus is my hero, and He has risen.

You may retort my statement by reminding me that it is very easy for me to pick Jesus as my hero, and you would be right. You see, Jesus is something to strive for, a deeper understanding, He is a path to the rewards of a better life.

But, finding heroes in our daily lives is easier than you might think. If we all could slow down the pace of our lives and push away the entrapment of mindless tasks that steal our time, then you might be surprised just how many heroes there are around you that are working their own small miracles.

So sit and think for a few seconds, close your eyes if you need to, and think, who do I know that are heroes around me? Go ahead, take a minute, I’ll wait. Seriously, take thirty seconds, close your eyes, and think about the heroes in your existence.

Hopefully you thought of a few people in your life, or those that may pass through your life. It could have been a teacher, a parent, your sibling or simply someone that made a difference in the existence of others. If I may, let me tell you about a few heroes that have been revealed to me over the last few days.

I’m currently spending a week on mission in Honduras with nine other Americans. We have all been here before at one time or anther. We all speak some level of Spanish and we all love the opportunity to serve at the orphanage located next to a neighborhood controlled by gangs.

It is in these areas, the narrow lines of distinction between what is right and what is wrong, that I find everyday heroes. One such group is a special unit of the Honduran Federal police. Based on programs developed in the USA and implemented by the US State Department, these men and women are trained to serve in the schools and in the communities to help provide a choice between the short and violent life in a gang, and the life of continued education and opportunity.

You may scoff at such an idea because it has been in practice in the States for years, but in a third world country, where stability is ever changing and 63% of Hondurans live in poverty, and the police are stereotypically corrupt, this kind of change is along the lines of culture shock. What makes it even more appreciated is that half of the police in this service are women.

When we asked the women officers about the challenges of being a woman in a society that does not value women as much as men, they surprised us with the revelation that women officers are actually more accepted in the families and communities than their male counterparts. Imagine that, in a society that does not value woman, they are the ones that are able to break through and have the most success.

This small group serves in the worst sections of the city, trying to convince young men and women that there is hope for their future and that the lure of crime and violence is a trapdoor to a life cut short.

Are these people heroes? Absolutely.

This week, we had the opportunity to visit a project founded by a man struck by the horrors of children living on the street. These children range from five to adulthood, they are alone, where the only thing to look forward to is getting high by sniffing shoe glue out of a plastic soda bottle. These are societies forgotten. They are the torn fibers on societies fabric of life, and no one would miss them if they simply disappeared.

According to the Tegucigalpa based project, almost 90% of kids that live on the street use the shoe glue on a daily basis. It is how they cope, how they pass the time, how they stop the hunger pains. Ironically, these are the children that even the gangs don’t want to recruit into their organizations because the children’s loyalties would not be to the gang, it would be to the glue.

The Micah Project’s mission it to help these boys by inserting themselves at the street level. They provide organized areas for the boys to gather, to play soccer and where they can get to know and trust each other. It is through this level of trust that new fabric is added to their existence and the ropes of a lifeline are spun. Eventually, through counseling and friendship, the boys realize that there is a life better than a dollar’s worth of yellow glue at the bottom of a plastic bottle, and they choose to enter the Project’s program.

Is there always success? No, but for the most part, yes. Are these people, the ones that dedicate their lives to pulling the lowest of us out of the mire and clay, heroes? Absolutely.

Later in the week we had the privilege to listen to a 20 year old man name Marvin, who described his attempt to enter the United States illegally. When he was 17 he set off from Honduras and was in Mexico within a few days. While in Mexico, humanity as we know it, broke down. Marvin described tales of torture, dismemberment, kidnapping, illegal organ harvesting, extortion, murder, rape, and a life constantly on the run from the ones that perpetrated most of the violence, the ‘coyotes’.

But, in Marvin’s struggles for survival, there was one man who rose above the temptations of easy prey, and offered a helping hand. The man owned a restaurant south of Mexico City, and he took Marvin in, gave him a job and helped him financially stabilize before he was strong enough to continue.

Was this man a hero for undertaking such an act of kindness? Absolutely.

In past blogs, and in my book Underlying Grace, I have written about El Hogar. This wonderful place, grounded by the grace of God, is an oasis in a sea of chaotic flux and poverty. El Hogar take in abandoned and hopelessly poor children in Honduras, and provides a loving home and education. El Hogar becomes the parent and the teacher to those that would never have one without the program. But it is more than a parent and a teacher, the children that grow up here are now part of a larger family, with brothers, sisters and teachers that love and nourish their physical, mental and spiritual needs.

The program runs on a staff that takes a lower level of pay and long hard hours. They do what they do for the love of the children, and they feel that God opens their hearts for a lifetime of work.

Are the men and women that give their entire lives so that these children can have the opportunity at a meaningful life, heroes? Absolutely.

During this week, we have had a lot of discussions about who is our favorite superhero. More often than not you will hear, Batman, Superman, Iron Man, and the list goes on and on. But I challenge you to look beyond the movie screen fiction and see the real heroes in your life. On my mission team I see nine other beautiful people, and they are all heroes to the children of this place.

Matthew West, a singer song writer, has a song called, ‘Do Something.’ In his piercing lyrics Matthew wakes up one day and sees people stricken with poverty and the world falling apart. Out of anger, he asks God why He doesn’t do something about the situation in the world. God answers him by saying that He did do something…He says, “I created you.”

So, I will ask you, is it time for you to do something? Is it time for you put on a cape and mask and become a hero to someone? If that is what it takes, then absolutely!

To learn more about the Micah Project: www.micahprojecthonduras.org

To learn more about El Hogar: www.elhogar.org

Peace,

Allen

Books by G. Allen Mercer:

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario: Bug Out, Book 2

Worst Case Scenario: Invasion, Book 3

Worst Case Scenario: The State, Book 4

Worst Case Scenario: Militia, Book 5

Worst Case Scenario: War Dawgs, Book 6

 

Collapsing World: Book 1

 

Underlying Grace

Mighty To Save: Book 2 The Underlying Grace Series

 

Follow G. Allen Mercer:

www.GAllenMercer.com

www.facebook.com/GAllenMercer  

www.twitter.com/GAllenMercer

Blogging at: www.allenmercer.wordpress.com

 

The Purpose of Pleasing People

I have been so fortunate to write books as part of the way that I make a living. Writing is my passion, or as I have recently discovered, my purpose. As a few people might know, writing is not my primary career, but it is my goal to change that one day soon, thus, the word ‘purpose’ is appropriate.

When I first started the Worst Case Scenario series, I was given advice that I should not take reviews personally. I heeded this advice and put on a coat of leather to protect my delicate writer’s ego from being crushed by those that feel the need to trash the fruits of my ‘purpose.’ Believe me, I’m OK with getting less than stellar reviews. But, it is funny how I can get eleven 5-Star reviews and then get one 2-Star with bitter comments, and that is the one that I that haunts my thoughts for weeks. I think we all feel the sting of criticism a little more than praise…don’t you think?

Regardless, I really didn’t want to write a blog about bitching. What I wanted to write a blog about was finding a way to push down the negative and use it as a stepping-stone on my way to my purpose. So, with that said, I have had to push down a great deal of negativity with the release of Worst Case Scenario: War Dawgs – Book 6.

I was shocked at the visceral reaction from fans to the ending of the book and to the series. You see in my mind, without giving you a spoiler alert, I ended this series so that I could start a new one with fresh content. I also twisted the ending to War Dawgs in a way that NO ONE saw coming…not even my family!

So, I start getting this negative feedback, and to be honest with you, the leather coat was not thick enough. I was having a hard time understanding what everyone’s deal was with the story, and then I realized two things. One, only I know where the story is actually going, and two, I might have twisted the ending more than the readers were accustomed to. But, had I?

You see, my mailing list has grown exponentially since releasing Book 6…hummm…was War Dawgs really out of bounds, or had I done my job as a storyteller? I am choosing the latter. Sure, I twisted the story like a wet beach towel but that only revealed new paths to how I’m going to develop the characters in future stories.

At the end of the day, I’m using all of this as a learning experience and continuing to do what I love…write stories that are compelling, challenging and never too predictable.

So, my advice to you: Admit what your passion is, use those negative people as stepping stones, and twist things up every now and then on your way towards living out your purpose.

Peace and Happy Reading,

Allen

 

Books by G. Allen Mercer:

Worst Case Scenario

Worst Case Scenario: Bug Out, Book 2

Worst Case Scenario: Invasion, Book 3

Worst Case Scenario: The State, Book 4

Worst Case Scenario: Militia, Book 5

Worst Case Scenario: War Dawgs, Book 6

 

Underlying Grace

Mighty To Save: Book 2 The Underlying Grace Series

 

Follow G. Allen Mercer:

www.GAllenMercer.com

www.facebook.com/GAllenMercer  

www.twitter.com/GAllenMercer

Blogging at: www.allenmercer.wordpress.com

 

What an Author does on Veterans Day

Veterans Are My Heroes!

Download FREE Today, and Pass onto a Vet or a friend!
Download FREE Today, and Pass onto a Vet or a friend!

I’d like to thank ever man or woman that has served the United States.  Veterans are a special breed of human that put their life on the line so that our liberty and freedom remain intact.  Thank you to every one of the service personnel that stepped out there so that my family can live freely!

In your honor, my book, Worst Case Scenario – Book 1, is FREE today I try to incorporate active and retired service people in all of my stories…you are all an inspiration.  Please send this to someone today so that they can have a free book.

God Bless America,

Allen

www.gallenmercer.com

Worst Case Scenario (5 Book Series)

G Allen Mercer - Books