Why do people write books? To share stories. To educate. To make a provocative case. To record events and people. To entertain. These are just some of the reasons that have motivated humans to put ink to paper (or fingers to keyboard in this modern-day and age) and spill out their hearts and minds.
It has been said that through a book you can travel way farther than your legs could ever take you. By reading a book, you can stand beside the few brave Greeks at the Thermopylae as they lock shields to repel the barbarian hordes. You can see the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence, defying the strongest empire of the time. You can watch Mozart change music forever.
For working adults, reading a book can be a drudge or a hard-earned pleasure. Equally, for children and teens, books can be a mandatory chore for school or a welcomed escape. Indeed, through the latter part, books have the ability to truly shape their futures and inspire them to do great deeds.
V Is For Veteran
For retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Greg Coker, giving children that ability to escape and get inspired by the actions of their forefathers was one of the primary motivators for contributing to the book, V is for Veteran. After writing his memoir—with the expert help of Sandboxx News’ own George Hand IV, Coker adjusted fire for his next literary endeavor.
Designed to educate children and parents about the U.S. military, V is For Veteran is an alphabet picture book.
“This alphabet picture book is a nod to the many soldiers — past, present, and future — in the Armed Forces of the USA! By highlighting the virtues of our American heroes, ‘V is for Veteran’ serves as a unique character education useful to all readers. While your little heroes watch the art-filled pages come to life, ‘V is for Veteran’ provides interesting facts and tidbits for older readers as well — making this a unique book for all ages!” the publisher says about the book.
Coker is a legendary special operations aviator who served with the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, nicknamed the “Night Stalkers.” During 11 combat deployments, Coker participated in some of the most daring special operations in modern U.S. military history in the cockpit of the AH-6 Little Bird gunship. He was part of the first group of Americans who took the fight to the Taliban and al-Qaeda following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. He also took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, supporting the tier 1 units of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
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During one of his many rotations to Iraq, Coker was shot down by a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile. Physics and previous instances say he should have died on that March day. But luck and skill would have it otherwise. Not only did Coker and his co-pilot survive a crash that should have left them dead or at least severely wounded, but he also joined a Delta Force ground force and went after the insurgents that shot him down in what must be a unique moment in the entirety of the Iraq war.
Writing A Book
For Coker going from his first book, Death Awaits in the Dark: Six Guns Don’t Miss, to V is for Veteran wasn’t that simple. His memoir was packed with memories and complex emotions, brothers lost in the line of duty and the ever-present struggle with mental health. But there is a unifying theme that connects the adult and the children’s book. They both have a military focus with core values and faith as critical components of both books.
“My daughter Dancey asked me about a week after finishing ‘Death Waits in the Dark’ if I wanted to write another book? My reply was absolutely NOT, I was smoked after writing nonstop for 90 days. She said to me, ‘how about if it is a children’s book?’ Well now, I would love to. I assisted Dancey and Kyle in writing ‘V Is For Veteran’ and [I’m] truly excited about this book. It is very cool for both children and parents,” Coker told Sandboxx News.
With two books already under his belt—and very successful ones too—readers are sure to wonder whether Coker will continue to write.
“Ya know, I have been throwing around some ideas, still have not recovered from the first one. We will see what God has for me,” the retired Night Stalker told Sandboxx News.
And if you are wondering if there is a message in the book that Coker and his team would like to pass to children or teenagers that are thinking of joining the service, there sure is.
“Absolutely, the military is a great place to start, it has so much to offer young men and women especially if you are not sure what path you want to take. The military will provide you skills that you will not find anywhere else, you will have your ‘Tribe,’ it will teach you that there is something bigger than yourself. Remember this…never quit!” Coker, who spent 30 years in uniform, added.
V is for Veteran is a good book not only for children but for adults who are looking to get a glimpse on the fundamentals that make up the U.S. military.
You can find the book here.