12 Rangers get Silver Stars for their courage

The Army awarded Silver Stars to twelve Rangers this week. The ArmyTimes wrote up their stories, so if you’re in need of some inspiration, some real-life courage, or a good kick in the pants to get up and do something with your life, go check it out.

You can read their incredible stories here.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Thanks to all who continue to “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” a huge success! It hit below 21,000 on the Amazon paid Kindle list in its first two months. If you want to read a kick-ass, fast-moving thriller, check it out here, for $2.99. Read reviews of it here.

Dream big like Quentin Tarantino, and never give up

I love stories of people who’ve defied impossible odds. It’s these stories — improbable though they are, and nearly impossible to repeat — that have kept me going in some really dark times throughout my life. Especially after my divorce, when I was practically homeless and so far in debt that I should have just declared bankruptcy.

Today, I learned from The Writer’s Almanac that director Quentin Tarantino had quite a battle rising from nothing to eventually stardom.

I only barely read his story, but saw that he was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, That caught my eye, since that’s where I was born.

I’m not a huge fan of Tarantino, but I can’t disagree with his success. So, curious, I read on.

Turns out he has quite a story, which is pretty motivating. The guy dropped out of high school after ninth grade and took some acting classes.

He went on to work as an usher at a theater and rewrite screenplays before he “skipped film school in favor of a job at a big video store in Southern California, where he and his co-workers — all aspiring filmmakers — watched and analyzed movies all day,” according to The Writer’s Almanac.

Here’s the link to how he made it from there, but in short I found it amazing that he came from such nothingness to get to the point where he’s at today.

He didn’t have a fancy degree. No family connections. Just a dream and a ton of grit. So, what are you waiting for? And what’s your pathetic excuse again?

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novels a success. I seriously couldn’t have done it with everyone’s support. I’m excited to say that Little Man, and the Dixon County War  has gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here). My second novel, Sold Outhas also done well, also, going as high as No. 81 on the Amazon Paid List for the category of War (see here and here). Learn more about both books here.

Are we sure we want to do this? Some tough questions about our national security.

This story today — U.S. to Expand Security Role in Pacific Region — reminded me that I’ve been meaning to say for the past few months that I think a discussion is way overdue about our future security plans as a country.

I think there are some legitimate — and intimidating — questions that need to be asked and answered. Like, for instance:

  • How much will it cost us as a country to continue as a global power over the next twenty years? How about over the next fifty? And why is this necessary given our oceans and non-threatening neighbors?
  • Are we willing — following two long, hard ones — to jump into another war if necessary?
  • How about two? (Iran? Syria? North Korea? China?)
  • Can we win a long-term military build-up contest with China? Yes, we beat the Soviets, but their economy doesn’t compare. Furthermore, I sense fatigue (and weakness) across our land.

These are just a few of the questions I have, but I don’t expect them to be asked and certainly not answered. Our military industrial complex is too strong — and our fear as a people too high — to even consider such talk.

So, go ahead and call me weak or soft for even throwing them out there. I expect nothing less.

But, deep down, you might want to think about them because if you don’t, I assure you no one else will.

Stan R. Mitchell

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

P.S. Please accept the greatest gift I can give.

P.P.S. Thanks to all who continue to make my novel Little Man, and the Dixon County War a huge success! It’s gone as high as No. 16 on the Amazon UK Paid List (see here and here), landing smack dab between a Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey book. Learn more about it here.