|Brian lounging with a friend, many years after leaving the military,|
Hard to believe, but it was over 17 years ago that I was medically released from the Canadian Armed Forces. It was after three leg operations that spanned 12 years in the combat arms, when a orthopedic surgeon gave me some hard news. They no longer wanted to operate on the recurring muscle injury I sustained as result of my job as a soldier. He talked about scar tissue, but more so he talked about how soldiering was a young man’s game and I might be better off to pull the pin now while I could still walk away. I did so, grudgingly. I liked being a soldier. Even today I miss the camaraderie and the sound of track clicking against the sprocket of an M109 self-propelled howitzer. That was the best job I had, detachment commander, I still miss it even today
Now, when I look back on my career, I think to that special time when I was young and full of piss and vinegar. I think about my first battery, the "Mighty H" in the Third Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and it truly was the best time I had in my career. It was there I met so many good people and from all walks of life. It was there I met a fellow gunner named Brian Eley, with whom I talked about my aspirations to become a writer. Brian and I bent elbows over beers and we lived in an H Barracks where it could get
pretty crazy on our off time. H Battery was known for the funnel
which was exactly that. A funnel that could hold two and half bottles of beer
with a long tube that was fitted with a tap at the bottom. I don't think I have
to tell you what you did with the tap—I can tell you that it was tradition for
new gunners to drink from that funnel—and drink we did.
|Police at the scene of the shooting.|
As I said that was 17 years ago and I’ve done and seen a lot since, but I never forgot about the gunners I knew in H Battery, they were a part of my journey into manhood. It was a long journey by the way, according to my wife, I still have a lot of growing up to do. Facebook, probably did more than any other social medium in
|.357 magnum recovered by divers.|
Fast forward from that and I was on getting geared up to head to New Hampshire when I heard news that Brian, after confronting a robber, was shot twice. Once in the stomach, which obliterated his internal organs and once through the neck and shoulder. In addition to this, he was shot with a .357 magnum with armored piercing rounds. How Brian survived the attack is nothing short of a miracle. Luckily, there was a witness to the shooting and doctors were able get him into emergency surgery which undoubtedly saved his life. I found out about all of this after the fact and sent him out a couple my books after communicating with him. I told him I’d be in touch after I got back from Portsmouth, NH, where I was attending a speculative fiction convention known as Anthocon.
|Sydney Leigh was front and center..|
|The note says it all. My friends, the Scullys..|
In addition to these fine folks, Great Old Ones Publishing fired off a couple books that should be there somewhere around the 15th of July. I also know Kristi Peterson Schoonover is sending something as well and there are others I can’t name, because I want to wait until they let me know and I’m not putting anyone on the spot. I have spoken to some folks with celebrity status here in Canada who have also said they would like to help out.
Brian sent me some pictures and I am sharing them with you here in this blog. He is also astounded by the support and hopefully these “Books for Brian” will bridge the long road to recovery as he undergoes numerous treatments. Thank you folks, those I’ve named and those I have communicated with. You are first rate in my book, you are a community that has a similar camaraderie to those I served with in those early military days. You have shown me a side of human nature that is wonderful and selfless and I am proud to call you friends and fellow scribes.
I dedicate this blog to all of you.
I don’t know what else to say. I am speechless.
Okay, I just thought of something.
Buy Sydney Leigh’s (Bram Stoker Nominated) Chapbook Baby’sBreath
Watch Tony Tremblay, along with Phil Perron, Sydney Leigh and Gardner Goldsmith on the Taco Society Presents and for gosh sake throw them a review.
Check out Firbolg Publishings: Enter Your Own Risk Series; or B.E. Scully’s: TheTower Together or the critically acclaimed: Verland:The Transformation
Check out Kristi Peterson Schoonover’s beautifully written and Pushcart nominated: BadApple
This is where you’ll find my books, works by the authors above and a catalogue of other great writers.