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Veteran’s Day: Are you the type of person that’s worth dying for?

Here’s the thing about Veteran’s Day … and what has me so bitter today…

There’s an implicit agreement between veterans and civilians: As Veterans our job is to fight and die for our country and countrymen; as civilians, your job to make sure that our country is worth fighting and dying for. And honestly, as of late, when I read the news and listen to the stories that are going on, I begin to feel as though you civilians aren’t holding up your end of the deal.

And now, here we are on Veteran’s Day…

Veteran’s day is a day to thank veteran’s for their sacrifices—both current, and veterans throughout the ages. It’s a day to thank those brave men and women who were willing to fight and die for the sake of their country, and their countrymen. From those first Americans fighting to free us from British oppression, to freeing the slaves, to liberating the concentration camp, to modern day soldiers…

But here’s the thing, this veteran’s day (and for the rest of this year, really) instead of wasting our time and money buying “Support our Troops,” bumper stickers, and shaking hands with veterans, or Facebooking a message to a friend-of-a-friend who served overseas; instead, I have a different idea…

Instead of thanking a soldier for being willing to fight and die on our behalf; instead of taking a moment of silence for all those who have given their life in the line of duty; how about we take that same amount of time  and instead focus on being the type of people, and the type of country, that’s actually worth dying for.

Those brave men and women who sign that dotted line are the bravest, and toughest, that our country has to offer—this means that, as always, it’s the toughest who protect the weakest. And that’s fine, we all have our parts to play, not everyone’s made to be a solider and a warrior.

But we need to keep in mind that when those men and women go overseas to fight and die, they’re doing it for US! And those who’ve never fought need to stop and ask themselves, “Am I worth it?” “Am I worth dying for?” And is our “Country worth dying for?” And if the answer is “No.” Then it’s up to us to walk down to that recruiting station and sign ourselves up, or it’s up to else to make sure our country is the type of place that’s still worth dying for. Because I’ll tell you, I’m tired of seeing that my brothers in arms are fighting for people who care more about the Kardashians than the battle of Kandahar, people who care more about the latest iPhone than the struggles that veterans faces after the war, people who’ve sent our economy into a recession, people who’ve shut the government down, and people who refuse to step up and actually make a different.

I don’t think it’s been done deliberately, but I do believe that you guys need to be reminded about the deal: we’ve held up our end, now it’s time for you guys to step up and hold up yours.

Book Notes, Standard

Why A Virtual Book Tour Is A MUST For Authors

A virtual book tour can be used as a powerful tool to promote authors and their works. Book tours are not a new concept. Authors have always used these as a tool to expose their work to the public. But the days of physical book tours are quickly becoming passé now. It is very rare for authors to go out and about promoting their work in public from city to city. Authors rarely do signings in order to encourage shoppers to buy their works in brick-and-mortar bookstores. And it is actually even harder to find a publisher that is actually willing to go through that hard work and invest in this old style of promotion. These days, book tours have gone virtual.

So, what exactly is a virtual book tour, you may ask? Well, it is a book tour that can be done in the comfort of an author’s home. An author can now hop from one blog to another, promoting his or her book without the need to leave his or her own personal sanctuary at home. This means that an author can make more than 30 stops in a month without any other added overhead costs that are usually related to traditional book tours.

A virtual book tour may include any of the following activities:

  1. Writing blog posts as guests to blogs that are related to the book’s genre
  2. Getting a blogger to review the book
  3. Getting featured in a related blog
  4. An email interview by a blogger
  5. A podcast, Internet radio, or actual radio interview

There are a lot of famous authors that have increased their exposure through social media.

So, if you are planning to market your book with a virtual book tour, here are a few things to remember:

Always Ask

There are a lot of blogs online. If you find one that is related to the genre of the book you are writing, then it would be a good idea to ask around if your book can be featured in it. Be sure to carefully write an introduction about your book and the possible benefits of featuring your book in their blog. If a blogger says no, don’t take it personally and just move on to a next prospective blog.

Some bloggers may ask for a remuneration to feature your work. Often, this may just include a free copy of the book but more well-known websites may ask for a certain fee, depending on the type of feature you want them to do.

Make Varied Content

It is important to make sure that the content you put up in blogs vary in order to keep your audience engaged. For example, some authors tend to leave some hints about their main character’s possible demise in the book in order to make readers look forward to the book launch.

Be Organized

It is very important to be organized. Always keep track of the bloggers that you have asked to participate in the tour and their schedule. If they don’t respond to your request, then just scratch them off the list. If they do respond, however, make sure to record their information like name, email, the name of the blog, and the blog’s URL. Not everyone will be willing to help you out with your endeavor. But it is important that you personally thank those who are willing to lend out a hand. A simple thank-you note can do a lot of help in building your relationship with anyone, even in a virtual world.


Make sure to proofread all your requests and communicate well with your contacts. Always be prepared to inform your target market about your book tour. In fact, it is a good idea to keep your schedule open and let people know where you are. You can easily do this by updating your social media accounts and providing your followers with a link of your current virtual location.

If you are still hesitant about virtual book tours, here are a few of its benefits:

More Exposure

With a traditional book tour, you are limited to the number of people in an area. For example, one day in Boston during a traditional book tour will only enable you to interact with the people that are gathered in your book tour location. But a virtual book tour can actually enable you to interact with everyone that has access to the Internet.


A virtual book tour can also help you create more lasting and quality backlinks to your website. This means that you can keep getting regular traffic (from the blogs you had on your tour) back to your website.


Getting a virtual book tour can help you generate a lot of reviews and feedback about your book.

Comfort and Convenience

Most importantly, you can enjoy all of these benefits without leaving the comforts of your home!

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How the Organization, Mission Continues, is Helping Veterans with PTSD?

PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be common for war veterans. Often, war veterans lose a part of themselves in battle. They often come home bruised and wounded inside even if they don’t necessarily have any physical wounds. War can destroy their emotional stability.

This is why an organization named The Mission Continues was founded. This organization aims to help war veterans find a purpose for their lives after getting into battle. Aptly named, the organization aims to aid war veterans in helping their community. The most common problem of war veterans actually involves finding a job. Most war veterans are left doing nothing at home without stable jobs. This organization makes it possible for them to be productive and help their community.

This program was actually founded by someone from battle, a former Navy Seal named Eric Greitens. He was a former Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Duke University and actually spent a lot of humanitarian work in places like Bosnia, Calcutta and Rwanda. A lot of his youth was spent in working on humanitarian support. In the long run, he joined the Navy to help the community more by offering his service.

For Greitens, however, serving is not enough. So, when he returned home and got exposed to the most common symptom of war veterans, he decided to do something about it. He thought that public service would give his fellow war veterans a new sense of purpose. So, in 2007, the Mission Continues started out their service to the community with 3 members. In 2012, the Mission Continues had approximately 500 fellows.

Veterans often come home wounded inside and out, but this programs aims to help them heal faster and still be of service to their countrymen.

Greitens know for a fact that war veterans are important even in today’s society, so he actually puts emphasis on what he thinks most war veterans want to hear from their community: “We still need you”.

Anyone can join the Mission Continues programs in various ways: Fellowship

A fellowship program is open for all post 9/11 veterans of any race, gender or branch of service. It actually involves around 20 hours of service at any non-profit organization. Fellows are even encouraged to join an organization based on things dear and near to their hearts.

To become a fellow, you must have served the US Military after the 9/11 bombing and attained an honorable discharge except when there was a sustained injury that prevented such. Also, fellows should not be on active duty, reserve or in the National Guard. Lastly, they must also have a clean criminal record.

Being a Mission Continues fellow helps war veterans with their PTSD by:

  1. Letting them connect with fellow veterans in their community and across the country. The fellowship orientation is a good example of how war veterans are acquainted with each other.
  2. Developing their skills and professional network. Fellows often plan and attend their projects with not just their fellow veterans but civilians as well.
  3. Translating their military-based skills to other skills that will be beneficial to being a part of the civilian workforce.
  4. Providing them with a cost-of-living stipend

Truly, the Mission Continues empowers war veterans in adjusting to their civilian life after their service. With this program, war veterans can find another purpose in their lives by helping the community they live in and being passionate about their work. This unique program has become successful in its endeavor because it addresses a real problem that is often left unsaid.

Its success is due to the fact that it addresses not just one problem about PTSD, but also deals with the problems of the community at large. It has produced several community leaders who are now improving the resources of the community when it comes to education and various other aspects. It is a success because it aims to make a long-term impact not just on the war veterans involved in the program but also to the community they help.

Hopefully, this movement inspires a future generation of war veterans so that they can productively integrate themselves back into society and make sustainable transformation in their own communities.

To date, they have the support of various private donors, corporate sponsorships and other foundations. From just three fellows back in 2007, The Mission Continues now has thousands of war veterans as fellows who aim to serve an entirely new mission at home. Everyone is invited to join the program by visiting their website


Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

In this dark humored War Memoir, Iraq veteran Michael Anthony discusses his return from war and how he defeated his PTSD. Civilianized is a must read for any veteran, or anyone who knows a veteran, who has returned from war and suffered through Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

dark humored military memoir“An intense memoir.” -Kirkus

“I wont soon forget this book.” -Mary Roach

“A must read.” -Colby Buzzell

“[S]mart and mordantly funny.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Anthony delivers a dose of reality that can awaken the mind…” Bookreporter

Order your copy of Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir .