Presentation Transcript

Introduction:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and happy new year. Before I get started, I’d like to warn you that it’s been a VERY long time since I’ve performed any type of public speaking, so please be gentle. Also, my feelings don’t get hurt, so if you feel I’m doing a terrible job, feel free to leave… and I will hunt you down in the parking lot. Okay, now that I’ve inspired a great deal of confidence in you towards me for the next twenty minutes, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Patrick Turley, I am the author of “Welcome to Hell: Three and a Half Months of Marine Corps Boot Camp”—which by the way, is the greatest book you’ll ever read. If not, then you must have got one from a bad batch and should buy another to try again. That one should be better. I served five years in the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq in 2004 with a security battalion in the Al Anbar province–I’ve also heard many of you are prior service military, but I’ll try not to hold that against you airmen, sailors and soldiers–Regardless, there’s nothing special about me. Well… allow me to rephrase that. Outside of these rugged, extremely handsome good looks, there’s nothing special about me.
I gave a lot of thought about what to talk to you about this morning, and when it boils down to it, there’s really nothing I can teach you. You’re all successful business men and women who have accomplished what you have because of exceptional leadership principles, innovation and much more. But while I can’t teach you anything, I think I have some interesting thing to share and hopefully even remind you of some of the specific traits and principles that helped make you a success along the way.
After all, the meek will inherit the Earth, but not today. For better or for worse, capitalism is natural selection. Capitalism is survival of the fittest. And if you don’t belong at the top, then you don’t belong.

Book:

“The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, ‘The elite of this country’. I think it is the elite of the world.” -Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy
“Devil Dogs”, “Leathernecks”, “Jarheads”, the “tip of the spear” of the United States military, but what is it that can forge ordinary men like me into the world’s most respected and elite fighting force? In a word: pain.
Discipline through pain.

Not much over a decade ago, I was living the ideal life for an early 20s male: I was in school with legions of beautiful, hormonally charged women, and supplementing that with bartending where my livelihood literally depended on flirting with women. I had closed the bar one night, and accustomed to these late nights, went home and worked on my writing with the radio on in the background. That “night” was the early morning of Sept 11th, and well, we all remember where we were and what we were doing in that moment. All too vividly.
Needless to say, I was young, bulletproof, and ready be a part of history and fight in World War 3. Fortunately the latter never came, and fortunately luck allowed me to be bulletproof, but within weeks, I had found myself at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego and the very moment your bus arrives, you’re herded to yellow footprints in a screaming explosion of threats toward the fiber of your being, and saliva spittle. It’s on those footprints that you become a statistic, but in doing so, you head down a path toward so much more. There’s a lot to learn about yourself within the pits of humility, uniformity and conformity. After all, in an era of over celebrated individualism, the “conformists” have become the true individuals. Those yellow footprints lead to so much more.
“Welcome to Hell”. The title of my book… and also the first words spoken to us by our Senior Drill Instructor before he left us at the mercy (or lack thereof) of our junior drill instructors on a day that will always haunt Marines: Black Friday, and the most intimidating experience I can imagine. To maintain some modicum of class—more than I personally possess, at least—I’ll censor the language in the coming reading, but I chose this segment to illustrate the severity of the situation:

We scrambled to our feet, sprinted before our footlockers, and snapped into our position.
They explained to us that the middle of the squad bay was the “Drill Instructor Highway”, and anyone caught in that highway would, in fact, die. Then they paced up and down the two lines we formed on each side of the squad bay, waiting… waiting for someone to give in to any impulse. Waiting to catch someone. A fat kid across the way flinched, sending Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant McFadden into a dead sprint, then into a two yard slide and coming to a halt in front of the recruit.
“Oh, so we want to flinch, huh? We want to do our own thing, huh,” his eyes wandered to the name-tape on the recruit’s cammie blouse before finishing, “Bequet?”
Bequet began yelling “No, sir!” repeatedly.
“We’re on our own freaking program, aren’t we Bequet?”
Bequet accidentally yelled “No!” this time.
Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant McFadden’s eyes lit up. “No, huh? No?! We’re drinking buddies now, aren’t we Bequet?”
“No, sir!”
“Then what? Are you forking my sister?”
“No, sir!”
“You’re friggin’ nasty, Bequet. Why didn’t your mother stop feeding your fat, ugly bottom?”
“This recruit’s mother is dead, sir!”
Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant McFadden paused and gave him a nod. He turned to leave, but then looked back at Bequet. “So that’s why she barely moved when I forked her.”

This was the moment where the reality of my situation really settled in on me. I’ll remind you that the United States is a volunteer military, so this was truly a mind blowing moment. But there’s no dipping a foot in this pool until you adjust. Only diving in headfirst.
From there, we learned pain. From there we learned discipline. From there we learned an immediate obedience to orders. With no hesitation. Everything we did was “by the numbers”. Our Drill instructors would have us wash our backsides before our faces. Chug water until we vomited all over the deck. Then close the windows, put us on our hands and feet with a towel and race up and down the vomit soaked deck until the humidity had us passing out. We would attempt the impossible without any hesitation when ordered… and in that mayhem, misery and sacrifice, something beautiful happens. You see that attempting the impossible and failing didn’t kill you. You see that you even came pretty close. And you learn that your true human limitations far exceed anything you may have imagined.
For me, this stressful and influential situation was about to become a lot moreso. “The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.”-Gen. “Black Jack” Pershing, U.S. Army. From our first “Welcome to Hell” moment, everything had been left over right. From our boot laces, to our legs when we sat. It wasn’t until we had reached the rifle range when we learned that this was for much more than uniformity’s sake. One of our primary shooting positions is seated, left leg over right, providing proper bone support so you aren’t muscling the weapon. We had already spent months adjusting and growing comfortable with the position. Another example toward the value of attention to detail. We would spend another week growing comfortable with the shooting positions and other principles like slow, steady trigger squeezes, sight alignment and sight picture, stock weld, breathing, without any live ammo before finally shooting.
When the day came, I was unbelievably good… and humble too. The following excerpt from my book follows this moment and remains to this day, the most influential moment of my life:

“Turley, come here!”
The Senior was calling me over. I was proud. After all, I was sure he wanted to congratulate me on how good I was shooting on the first day. What else? The series commander and the chaplain were waiting there with him. I ran up and stood at port arms and yelled, “Good morning, gentlemen.”
Captain Wiles grabbed the M16 out of my hands. “Let me see it, Killer,” he said to me, not even giving me a chance to run a proper inspection arms before handing it off.
I was confused now.
Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Jameson looked at me. His face was stone cold. “I’ve got some bad news, Chuck.” Right then and there I knew what he was about to say. “It’s your dad, he’s dead.”

We all reach an age where life stops giving us things, and starts taking them away. And there I was, in one of the most stressful situations you can find yourself in life, now compounded with another one of the most stressful situations. Never had I felt more alone. I’d often lie awake after an exhausting day of training and feel like I was drowning. Things could never be the same again.
In life, we have no external enemies. They’re all within. Hesitation, fear, regret. They’re paralyzing. I began to rationalize leaving. It was an easy out, and who could blame me considering the circumstances? The short answer was “me”. I could blame me. I would blame me. And so, realizing this, quitting was never an option.
As humans, a part of us will always try to rationalize the path of least resistance. But “Courage is endurance for one moment more.” And that’s exactly how I dealt with it. One moment at a time. One emotion at a time. One order at a time.
True power is control over yourself. It’s knowing that no matter how painful or insurmountable the obstacle in front of you is… you can overcome it. One step at a time. Enduring one moment at a time.
The culmination of Marine Corps recruit training is known as the “Crucible”. The Marine Corps officially describes the Crucible as “The Recruits’ Final Test: For 54 straight hours, recruits’ endurance, teamwork and skills will be pushed to the limit. Through perseverance and courage, they will finish as platoons and earn the title Marine. During The Crucible, recruits face obstacles that must be negotiated as a team, day and nighttime marches, night infiltration movement, combat resupply and casualty evacuation scenarios, combat field firing as a team, minimal food and sleep, simulating combat, leadership tests, and core values training.”
The climax of this “event” is known as the Reaper… for any earlier generations of Marines, it’s former name was Mount Mother… effer. The latter is a much more apt description. You’re already past the point of exhaustion from rigorous physical strain, lack of sleep and near starvation, then you set off on an 8 mile hike with a heavy, awkward fitting pack on your back, flak jacket, helmet, rifle slung over your shoulder, and you come face to face with what’s more “sheer cliff” than “mountain”.
Now, I entered the Crucible an emotional wreck due to circumstance. But out of those same circumstances, it became a trial of self-realization. After all, this was an internal test more than anything else. Through inhuman obstacles and subhuman conditions, I gained the most valuable thing we can find in life. A mastery of ourselves. In a few short months, I had become so much more than I was before. Even the aforementioned impossible didn’t seem so difficult anymore.

Take aways for success:

So while this flies in the face of everything you’ve heard about realistic goals, set impossible goals for yourself. It’s a New Year… set one thing, just one thing, that you’d love to achieve, that you don’t have a prayer in realistically accomplishing. Make a methodical plan with a military inspired attention to detail like you would for every other goal, and then attack with every fiber of your being, every last vestige of effort, and I promise you, nothing but great things will come of it:
Even in failure, you’ll find yourself achieving and growing more than you could have imagined, and you’ll beat your own enemy within into submission. Your self-imposed fear of failure will be gone, your internally set “limitations”, vanished. Your subordinates will see your leadership by example and they will become inspired through your fearless pursuit, and focused drive.
And when things seem insurmountable because your own mind is telling you so, remind yourself, “Courage is endurance for one moment more”.

Publishing, promotion:

My goal in writing this book was to provide an insider, modern, first-person account of Marine Corps boot camp so people could get a perspective on what people sacrifice on our great nation’s behalf, and to create a nostalgia book where Marines could look back on this formative time within the comfort of hindsight.
I wrote two chapters of this book in early 2003. On a whim, I sent them to some of the best literary agents in the nation. I received an immediate response from one asking to read the rest of the manuscript because she loved my proposal and samples. Of course, I had nothing, but I accepted and asked for a week to “polish up” the manuscript. Which didn’t exist. So, I worked 18 hour days at Camp Pendleton, and then would write until I was too exhausted. Within two weeks I was done… luckily she loved my rushed manuscript, but we did give it a mutual once over before courting publishers.
An imprint of Penguin known as Plume picked it up immediately. But right before we could get into contracts, I received word that I’d be deploying to Iraq with 72 hours of notice. The contract fell through, I shipped out, miraculously returned in one piece, but couldn’t get the book back off the ground in a new fiscal year when I returned. Soon after, I lost the book entirely.
Several years later and fortunately my girlfriend is an avid reader, which drove me to look for my old manuscript once more. A friend of mine found it on an old floppy disk and within months, my story was under contract with History Publishing Company.
Many, many traits learned and imprinted within me from USMC boot camp elevated me to where I am today and made this a successful endeavor. The immunity to criticism and rejection from countless hours of being screamed at for any perceived imperfection, the attention to detail that allowed me to organize my promotional efforts to isolate what was most effective in the modern literary market, outside of the box thinking that allowed me to create new, innovative marketing techniques to streamline getting a hold of my demographic, and the dogged persistence toward the impossible where I managed to secure endorsements and back cover quotes from former USMC members, actor Jim Beaver, Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Academy Award winning writer John Patrick Shanley, and even a former Commandant, General Charles Krulak, all despite a multitude of very “un-PC” moments.

CFPF:

Now, if you have no interest in my story, firstly you’re a buffoon, but that’s fine, the world needs buffoons. However, I do need you to look into the charity my book supports, the Children of Fallen Patriots foundation. For every child left behind when a service member passes on, the CFPF provides education and counseling for these children who have sacrificed so much more than anyone ever should at a young age. I cannot imagine a nobler cause, so please, take a look at Fallenpatriots.org and consider getting involved. Every penny goes to the children.

Close:

A special thank you to Mr Billy Wagner for inviting me to come here and participate with you all. It’s been a great experience for me, and I genuinely thank you all for your time. I’ll take any questions you might have at this time.  Semper Fidelis

Reload

First and foremost, if you haven’t at least explored contributing to the Children of Fallen Patriots, I implore you to please do so now.  Also, try and make some time to check out Least Among Saints.  Admittedly, I haven’t watched it yet, but the trailer conveys an important message and I certainly will be checking it out soon.

Secondly, if you buy my book, I’ll totally be your best friend forever.  Also, like, share and tweet this, please.

I think the release has been a pretty resounding success. In two months of availability, we’ve sold out through Amazon three times and achieved consistently high rankings in both paperback and e-book, along with top rankings in our category–we’ve seen nothing shy of 5 star reviews there either! If this were solely for my benefit, I may be content–though I’m absurdly critical toward myself, so probably not.  Regardless, it stands for much more than I, so that potential content is washed away and instead, I find myself diving back in to claw for more.  A promotional reload.

Moving forward, my goal is to work smarter and not harder. In every area of my life, I try to utilize an approach to reinvigorate any given aspect through plateaus and tepid eras. I feel like I’ve now gathered the information through trial and error that I needed to successfully apply this approach to my book promotional efforts. I’ll be looking back to determine:
1. What worked?
2. Why did it work?
3. Determine any common themes between #1 and my answers to #2.
4. Create a new plan of attack.
5. Aggressively pursue it.
6. Contrast effectiveness between repeats and analyze.
Simple in theory, but frustratingly complicated to quantify and then again in application!  Wish me luck… or, instead of wasting that effort, just help out by buying it (several please), reading it, reviewing it and telling your friends!

Also, a Happy Birthday to my brother Randy who turns almost 50 or something today.

Release Day

Eric Larson, Rebecca Skloot, Malcolm Gladwell, Jeannette Walls, Charles C. Mann, Caitlin Moran, Todd Burpo, Tina Fey, Jaycee Dugard, and the rest.

I’m coming for all of you.

It won’t be a privilege or an honor when it happens. It will simply be the realization of this book’s birthright to sit atop this list.

Why? Because this has a greater purpose… Because this isn’t just a memoir book with MY life stories in it. It’s a shared message for people who deserve to have their story told. A chance for people to take a moment and gain more perspective on what some choose to sacrifice for their and our great nation’s behalf. Instead of whining about priorities, it’s a chance to take recognition and say, “You gave a career to the Kardashians for a sex-tape, but how many of you even know the name Dakota Meyer?” Instead of second-by-second updates of the Twilight split, that’s the real story people should know. One with substance, sacrifice, and unimaginable heights of heroism. Here’s a guy who asked the Oval Office staff to call back on his lunch break because he was busy working when they called to inform him he was receiving our nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. Even more than the message, we have the opportunity to make a real difference for people who need it the most. One interview and book at a time, we’re raising money and awareness for the Children of Fallen Patriots and I’d be hard pressed to imagine a more purposeful cause.

So here we are. It’s released. And quite frankly, I don’t know how to feel. It’s almost like an extended version of those adolescent moments where you get the nerve to talk to the girl you like and ask her out…. but the stressful uncertainty before she’d answer. I put myself out there… right now I’m just not certain if I’m going to get rejected or kissed under the bleachers.

I take great solace in our pre-release success. A few days ago our Amazon page started showing that there were only a limited amount of copies left (“Only 20 copies left in stock!”). Naturally I obsessively watched as the number would quickly drop to 15 and then somehow rise back to 18 as orders and new arrivals to stock chased each other in circles. Last evening we battled through the rise and got to single digits. It became a goal to sell them out before it even officially released. There was only 1 left at 11 PM with an hour to go… come 1140, that too sold. The Amazon page went from “Only 1 copy left in stock (More on the way)” to… “In Stock”? Talk about hilariously anti-climactic. I’m not sure what I was expecting anyway… maybe a giant, red stamp graphic to come down and X out the page as the announcer from Street Fighter 2′s voice comes in and says, “You win! Perfect.”‘ (Fun Fact: That’s already my second Street Fighter 2 reference on this website)

So get the word out. Carry the book with you. The cover stands out and people will ask about it. Post links on social medias. Talk about it.

And if you aren’t interested, that’s fine. But at least consider the message and looking into helping the Children of Fallen Patriots. Let’s move deeper into an election year with a more prioritized nation.

Thank you: Taylor, mom, Jaime and her lovely parents, Eric Falkner, Don Bracken, Claire Gerus, General Krulak (31st Commandant), Jim Beaver, Kamil Mackow, Ian and Liam, Anne Hawkins, and everyone else who has supported this in its infancy.

Links to a few of the completed interviews:

Action News – TV appearance

Fox News with Brian Kilmeade

Jake Pentland Show (Aug 11 in the On Demand tab)

Schedule and Links (*UPDATED)

Now that we’re down to a handful of days out, here’s the remaining pertinent information on the horizon:

Barnes and Noble Paperback and Nook
Amazon Paperback
Kindle

…And in bookstores everywhere Aug 14th.

Upcoming Schedule (Much more to come, but wanted to get the short term information out there for anyone interested):

Check! Friday- Fox News Radio with Brian Kilmeade at 1006AM EST (*UPDATED)
Check! Saturday- Jake Pentland Show, check it out at 4PM EST. This one should be really fun.
Check! Monday- Action News tv interview at 745 AM (for local Jacksonville, FL area residents) and USA Radio interview at 3PM EST (recorded, not sure when it will air)
Check! Tuesday- NC residents: 845 AM, EST WTKF-FM and WJNC-AM

And of course:
Twitter
Facebook
(*those amounts of followers are embarrassing so help out please!)

Time To Get The Word Out

First off, I completely forgot to write an update to share that the Welcome To Hell sub-page with quotes, reviews and excerpts is finally available (You can find it here).

With less than two weeks to go, I’m losing my mind brainstorming new ways to promote the book and get the word out.  Interviews already start this Friday and continue at a frenzied pace until the release date, so I’m trying to get all I can get in now.  If you have any ideas, definitely do them or get a hold of me with them.  Even clicking “likes” and “shares” and “tweet” makes a significantly bigger impact than you’d think!

Most importantly, thanks to everyone who’s helped up to this point. I’m still stunned by the amount of traffic this little website has managed to generate… in spite of all my corny updates.  Thank you all for helping me get this book some visibility, now please help me tear down the curtain and really get the word out for my book.  It’s a story that deserves to be told and heard, and it benefits the Children of Fallen Patriots.

Let’s go get the recognition Rocky Balboa says we deserve:

One Month To Go

I’ve gotten several emails from people asking how the book release went, so I figured what better time than Friday the 13th to write an update here… For the masses (*and by “masses”, I mean “one” – hi, Jaime) that care.

As it turns out, the studios that made Spiderman and Batman have been lobbying hard for my book to be postponed.  Apparently they were extremely concerned that the American public would be paralyzed at home, glued to the pages of my book, and their box office splashes would be reduced to a handful of un-American communists.  I told them to settle down since they’ll be crushed by Twins 2 either way, but eventually they won out and last week I learned that the release date is sliding back a ways to August 14th.  While there’s a little bit of frustration associated with preparing one way for things and then have to shift to another direction nearly last minute, I’m pretty happy about this change.  It gives me more time to promote and get the word out, and more time to take care of the other things on my plate.

You’re welcome Christian Bale . (<—Not Safe For Work Language)

In other news, Olympic Gold hopeful/front-runner, Marlen Esparza has joined my legions (*and by “legions” I mean “83″) of twitter followers.  Yes, I’m expecting a dedication speech after she beats the foreign opposition mercilessly (the beating’s aftermath should look just like this).

Also, a special apology to Mr Mike Ilitch.  We apparently couldn’t find room to place his quote in the book.  To be entirely honest, I was seeing-red livid when I got that news.  If I had my way, the entire book would be nothing but billionaires (that’s actually a really good idea… interview billionaires about their methods and values to success and then let their connections handle promotion).

Anyway, there’s a month to go but a lot of promotion to do.  I’ve got a few widely syndicated radio shows lined up, and some TV appearances look promising.  Even then it still won’t be enough, so please throw the links (on the right) around your social media sites.  It’s Friday and everyone is bored at work and more inclined to click stuff, so help out please.

Hello Again

So to summarize what’s taken place in the past couple weeks:

- The subpage still isn’t up but should be soon.  I imagine all nerd-driven industries have taken a massive productivity hit with the release of Diablo 3, so I’m not too concerned.

- The BEA came and went and my book received “quite a bit” of interest.  What this means:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Otherwise I’ve just returned from a trip to Arizona where I was able to fulfill a bucket-list item by asking Ken Whisenhunt if the Bear’s are who he thought they were and if he let them off the hook or not.  He was a good sport and even smacked the podium while he laughed… much better than how that could have been received.  Also, that place is so ridiculously god-forsaken-hot…

Hopefully next week I have some much bigger news to parade around to you all, but for now the focus is still getting things ready to go.

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!

 

The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and Bookexpo America

I’m pretty thrilled to be able to announce that I’ve officially selected the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation as the charity I’ll be supporting with a percentage of proceeds from Welcome To Hell.  The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation provides scholarships and counseling to military children whose parent has made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation.  Having had deployed to Iraq when my own daughter was about four months old, this organization and their goals are very close to my heart.  I truly can’t fathom a more noble organization and I’m extremely excited to find myself in a position where I can help.

Just to emphasize what a fantastic organization this is, the woman from the Fallen Patriots Foundation that’s been assisting me in this process was also one of the first beneficiaries of their service as her father passed away in 2004.  Her pain becomes even more unfathomable when you see that her husband also passed away in our nation’s service just eleven months later.  Every time I think about that, I’m at the same loss for words that I’m certain you’re at now.  The least we can do is offer a helping hand to those left behind by those sacrifices for our futures.  So please, whether you buy a book or not, take a minute to swing by The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation and contribute if you can. Every penny goes directly to the children.

While that clearly overshadows every other development, there are other things going on.  Today marked the start of the BEA, Book Expo America, where Welcome To Hell will be one of only four books featured by History Publishing Co.  A big showing here could mean quite a bit for the book’s future, and also marks the start of the promotional phase… which means I have an ungodly amount of work to do and a nearly insurmountable task ahead of me, but what’s new there?  Everyone helping out can go a very long way, so please click all the like, share and tweet buttons that exist on the right hand side and help get the word out!  I’m certainly doing my part… after all, I just made this awful video a few days ago.  I’ll share it here only because I must like embarrassing myself:

Welcome To Hell Initial Vid Trailer

The sad part?  That took me all night.  If you can do better, please do it and send it to me.

I guess that’s all… I should have a more consistent stream of updates (lucky you) now that the promotional foundation is set and it’s time to get more aggressive with it.

Time to start calling in some favors, so if you owe me, you might want to shut your phone off.

Transition

This will be the first entry without any real, concrete updates to write about, so by all means, feel free to stop reading now and get something productive done.

If you’re still here, you’re probably my mother, so “Hi, mom.”  It’s been a ridiculously hectic week since my last update.  There’s a lot of things I’d love to be doing right now, including responding to feedback, expressing my appreciation to everyone getting involved and helping out, and incorporating some great advice I’ve gotten from all of you over the past few weeks.  Unfortunately, the time still isn’t there.

I just wrapped up figuring out the content for the Welcome To Hell subpage on this site.  That ended up being significantly more difficult than I had previously anticipated… first, pulling segments of the story out of context is tricky business.  Outside of their proper context, the most moving, poignant, affecting or provoking parts of the story are either massive spoilers or come across cruel or effectively weaker.  Even then, once I’d pulled some that I was satisfied with and ran them by people for their opinions, well let’s just say consensus simply wasn’t achieved…  In the end, I went with my gut, along with a disclaimer, and also tucked an attention grabbing, but very offensive moment, in the back.  So if you read it and are offended: 1. I’m impressed your attention span managed to make it that deep and 2. 1 is probably only because you saved it by avoiding repeated warnings, so I take it back.

Anyyyyyyyyyyyyyway, the content is done and off to my friend Kamil to assemble and beautify and maybe even make me a video to go a long with it.  Considering how much I’m paying him ($0), it better be done extremely well and fast!

I’m off to the Bahamas.

A few leaps forward

A few months ago, I decided to undergo a marathon by doing 15 laps (a little over 1.8m per) around my neighborhood just to see if I could.  I have some pretty significant lower body injuries, so things started to get pretty painful after mile 10 and damn near unbearable after 20, but I did it.  It took all day (This is relevant, I promise.  Hang in there), but I was able to press myself to finish… one step at a time.

I view this publication process as a parallel.  Writing an entire book is a daunting enough process… let alone the next steps where you eventually realize that the creation was possibly the least vexing of them all.  Regardless, the lessons I learned through hip, knee and foot pain during that self-imposed, just-for-me marathon apply here–and to everywhere else in life–because no matter how daunting or insurmountable a task may be, we can overcome them.  One step at a time.

Well forget the steps, because this week we’ve taken several leaps forward.

It started with a fantastic write up in Publisher’s Weekly (<—Click to read.  And please “like” their review page!)

PW has a reputation for tough but always fair reviews, so with that in mind, I found this to be extremely favorable and an honor.  In fact, I had to read it several times before it even sunk in.

But it gets better.  “How could this possibly get better without John Travolta and a massage table?!” you ask?  First of all, gross.  Secondly, not easily.  After months of pursuit, effort, and mostly agonizing over things beyond my control, things unbelievably fell into place right before my deadline.

“Read Sgt. Turley’s Welcome To Hell and you will never have to worry if our nation’s

’911 force’ is ready to answer the call.”

- General Charles C. Krulak, 31st Commandant of the Marine Corps

^ That just happened.

First of all, for him to have given me the time of day at all is nothing shy of a miracle.  I mean, let’s face it… Who am I? (24601)  A stranger and unknown who has yet to really accomplish anything in this arena.  To compound that with taking the time from a ridiculously busy schedule to not only read my book, but discuss it with me and then stick his neck out a little to participate like this… well it’s completely overwhelming and speaks volumes to the character of the man.

To make this even more miraculous, earlier in the week I received the following:

“A lot has changed since I was in the Marines, but Patrick Turley’s Welcome to Hell

vividly illustrates what hasn’t changed:  that pain, discipline and dehumanization

are the crucible in which an elite fighting force is forged.

This book took me back to my own proud days in hell.”

- Jim Beaver, star of Deadwood and Supernatural, and author of Life’s That Way.

Every word and adjective I applied to General Krulak applies here, as well.  These are some selfless men and I just can’t express my level of appreciation or respect in words.

Amazing week!  Time to shift the focus and continue those steps.  Next up, actually building the Welcome To Hell sub-page here and doing some good: getting a military charity selected.

One step at a time.

 

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