Friday, January 15, 2016

The Author and Collector - Raymond Johns

Raymond Johns - Author
All I wanted was a boat.

But you know the story about a boat and what happens next. So I had to sell the boat or face the wrath of Karen Campbell.

Sold it to a man who is dragging logs out of the river but he needed a truck. I helped him find a truck which promptly broke six times in two months. So I found him another truck for trade by way of a man named Freeman Simpson.  Freeman has a buddy named Raymond Johns who is a budding author with few resources to reach his market.

A letter from President G.W. Bush
THIS means the boat purchase from the recommendation of the daughter of the man who told me about the glass tektite meteorite from Barnetts Crossroads in 1967 has led to this moment of helping Mr. Johns get his books into print or electronic media without any cost to himself.  My suggestion is to use (Amazon) or (independent).

These places on the web make book publishing easy and actually NO cost to the author until the books start to sell --- at which time a percentage goes to those companies.

A Beginner Reading Book
Some of his books are targeted toward children - including a coloring book and an early reader. Other books are geared toward philosophical or religious insight. I am going to try to set up a place for him using free - Some of these books should be electronic downloads anyway.

Among the Mr. John's hobbies is the practice of writing to Presidents of the United States or to other government leaders to offer them encouragement.  He has letters in return from George W. Bush and Barack Obama among other government leaders.  I have suggested he can create a book from his correspondence to and from those leaders and probably find an interested audience.

We are going to look into that. I may help him scan the material.  And I am going to show him how to set up a blog like this one -  or my ME3TV Blog where he can write to his heart's content and get the word out about his various projects.
Coloring Book with Nutrition

The man is multi-talented. Other hobbies include the making of metal sculptures from scrap material and he collects a wide variety of art - some of it originals - some of it that might find interested buyers on the internet.

So --- for want of a boat --- I am now involved in ONE MORE project.  I'll be back over at the Perdido River today to see how the RIVER LOGGER is doing.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

A Brief Seasonal Message

Merry Christmas to you all and Goodwill toward all Peoples.

Our Christmas Update for 2016 is HERE

Friday, January 01, 2016

The Off the Record Combat Vet

Army Records Request
UPDATE -- A combat veteran with PTSD and crippling injuries - slipped through the cracks. It has been SIX MONTHS since we sent his request for records to the US ARMY in St. Louis.  THERE HAS BEEN NO REPLY -- no contact.  Next step -- Congressman....

Danny Rowell's  story ... He remains lost to the system 46 years later.

Roy Allen (who is blind) has a disabled cousin living with him now. Danny is a big help even though he can hardly talk to be understood. Danny is a Vietnam Vet but he blew off the army after half his tour under fire in Vietnam an in '69 and went AWOL back home with his HOT young bride. His time in Vietnam was intense with combat and the loss of close friends.  His foot was rotted by jungle rot and he was hospitalized in Vietnam and then shipped to Hawaii for treatment.The foot was never corrected. He boarded a plane with is young wife and returned to Florida. He was contacted once by the army but his temper and youth got the better of him (read PTSD) and he went AWOL again after a brief time in an army brig.  He remains a cripple. He intended to come back but it kept sounding like worse and worse punishment so he delayed for years.  His life could have been much different if he had the care he deserved for both PTSD and the foot rot. Eventually the marriage failed - rather quickly.

So his discharge reads administrative (not honorable). This costs him VA help for PTSD - for illness - for injuries of foot rot and malaria plus more recent injuries like about 30 years ago ... two bullets in his head from a 9mm by his old girlfriend (after the divorce - different girl). An earlier story posted in my pages informs the reader that a 9mm held against the skull when fired may not blow off the top of  the victim's head --- and instead weaken the force of the bullet so it only lodges in the brain. I learn so many things hanging out with my blind friend, Roy Allen and his associates.  I could write a book.

Yes he should have gone back to the army - taken his punishment and gone back to die in Vietnam with a rotted foot. But he did not. It would have been hard to make that decision given the HOT young wife and being a teenager still ... and having just made some friends in Vietnam who died early - in front of his own eyes.

 An illegal immigrant now has more status in America than this combat veteran. SO I am trying to get some records out of archives to move him forward toward real VA help. Trust me - this will be an interesting case study to follow.  I am busy trying to find records to support a claim. He was in combat from January 2 to about August 15, 1969 with the 198th Light Infantry BN - a part of the Americal Division. So we are making paperwork applications for ALL his unit and personal records that apply.  We will see how that goes. (so far six months and no reply from the army)

Meanwhile, I have suggested if he would just apply for gender re-assignment - through the VA he will probably be accepted because the VA just set up a new clinic for just that procedure. Another option, I think -- is to apply for immigration to Vietnam where he may be readily accepted for veteran care in their own government program to care for veterans of the Vietnam  War. The initial responses from Danny regarding these options indicate they will be solutions of LAST resort.

Here is a LINK TO SOME 198th Light Infantry BN Web Sources
UPDATE: We have his request in to the ARMY archives for a complete  personnel record. We also had a connection to his old 1/52 Unit - with a combat log for the unit in 1969. Danny was in Co. B and was in a mortar platoon.  The indications are he was in heavy combat.  Roy tells us  that Danny's bad limp is largely a result of a deformed foot from "foot rot" which along with malaria is what got him hospital evacuated to an in country hospital and then shipped to Hawaii for more care. It was, of course, in Hawaii that his young wife came to visit and youthful anxieties overcame them and they returned to the USA without reporting through channels.  His life story began to sour badly at that point in time (well - it already sucked).  (see above).  It is now JUNE 2016, five/six months later and no response from the army.


MJ has roots in my home town.  Mary Jo Trenkler: SOUTHERN SPEAK AND DIRTY WORDS: When I first started writing in college, I was writing radio commercials. I was scared to death. It was so important to me that I not...