When my dad came home from the war in Korea, my mom says words spilled out of him, stories she—a young wife of barely 20—had a hard time processing. She says she listened to him talk for days and then it was over. When I was young, my dad never talked about the horrors of war to us.
A natural storyteller, he made it sound like they spent the time playing jokes on each other and exploring the countryside and just every now and again getting shot at.
While helping my dad to prepare to participate in the dedication of a Korean War Memorial in his hometown, my brother found this in his papers:
“Distinguished Unit Citation…
As authorized by Executive Order 9396, the following units are cited… in the name of the President of the United States as public evidence of deserved honor and distinction. The citation reads as follows:
“The Second Infantry Division and the following attached units ******* 300th ARMORED FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION (less Battery “B”) ******* are cited for extraordinary heroism and outstanding performance of duty in action against the armed enemy in the vicinity of Hongchon, Korea, during the period of 16 to 22 May 1951.
Defending the critical sector of the Eighth Army battle front, the Second Division and attached units faced a hostile force of 12 Chinese Communist divisions with an estimated strength of 120,000 troops. The Third Chinese Army Group drove the full force of its savage assault against the Second Division with the specific mission of annihilation of the units.
The right flank of the Unit was completely exposed when enemy pressure broke through adjacent United Nations elements. Pressure increased and each night enemy forces bypassed staunch defenders and occupied positions to their rear. Tactical units of the Second Division launched fierce counterattacks which destroyed enemy penetrations, successfully extricating themselves, and through readjustment of positions, stopped the onslaught of the Chinese Communist forces.
Executing planned withdrawals and extending their flank eastward over extremely rugged, mountainous terrain, the Second Division and attached units provided critically required time for other Eighth Army units to regroup and block the attempted enemy envelopment.
Without thought of defeat, this heroic Unit demonstrated superb battlefield courage, knowledge, and discipline and esprit de corps in accomplishing this extremely difficult and hazardous mission as to set it apart and above other units participating in similar operations.
Its sustained brilliance in battle, resolution, and extraordinary heroism reflect unsurpassed credit on those courageous soldiers who participated and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States Army, the United Nations Forces, and their own homelands.”
History records this about the 300th:
“In all, the 300th fired 514,036 105mm howitzer rounds in 805 days of combat. The soldiers of the 300th earned 12 Silver Stars, 63 Bronze Stars, and numerous other medals. In addition to two Presidential Unit Citations, the battalion also earned a Meritorious Unit Citation and two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations. Eight soldiers from the 300th were killed-in-action and another 175 wounded.”
And yes, I cry each time I read it.
Back then, people knew about PTSD, though they I believe they called it shell shock. My dad was one of the lucky ones. He was able to get it all out and move forward with his life—though looking back I suspect he hid more than we realized.
He passed away last year and his buddies from his unit showed up to honor him one last time—just as he had for the buddies that went before.
For my dad—for all who have been in harm’s way, for those who came home and for those who didn’t—Veronica Scott and I wanted to find a charity that was about pets and veterans.
This is why we are honored to donate 10% of all preorders and the first month’s sales to Hero Dogs (hero-dogs.org). We hope you’ll join us in supporting a wonderful organization. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence. And while you’re supporting Hero-Dogs.org, you’ll get to read some amazing stories.
Title Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
Author Pauline Baird Jones + 11 other bestselling/award-winning authors
Genre Science Fiction Romance
Publisher Cats, Dogs and Other Worldly Creatures
The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
Twelve Original Never Released Stories in Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2
A Novella in the Dragon Lords of Valdier Series
By S.E. Smith (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
Asim Kemark has lived a long, lonely life. It is only his pledge to his former king and to Mandra Reykill that keeps him, his dragon, and his symbiot from going crazy. He has given up on ever finding his true mate and devotes himself to caring for the wide assortment of creatures on Mandra and Ariel’s mountain retreat. The last thing he expects when he visits the palace is to lose control of his dragon and his symbiot when they sense their true mate. Before he knows it, he has kidnapped her!
Pearl St. Claire is enjoying a new adventure – learning to live on an alien planet. As a mature woman in her sixties, she thought she had experienced just about everything life could throw at her – only to discover she really hasn’t experienced anything yet! She is both amused and exasperated when one of the dragon-shifting aliens kidnaps her, believing she is his true mate.
Life is no longer boring or lonely as Asim courts the spirited human woman who has enchanted him, but he isn’t the only one who has noticed Pearl or the unusual animals under his care. When poachers attack, determined to steal the exotic creatures under his protection – including Pearl and a new clutch of alien eggs from Earth – he will do everything he can to protect them. Can one dragon keep the most precious creatures under his care safe, or will he lose the biggest battle of his life?
A GRIM PET
A Novella in the Tornian Series
By M.K. Eidem (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
The Great Raptor is a fearsome and deadly creature; and while the raptor is no one’s pet, he is fiercely protective and loving of his family…
Carly and Miki have never forgotten the story that Grim told them of the Great Raptor, the symbol of their new home world Luda. Yet, it is the comparison their mother once told them of the Great Raptor to Grim that gives them the courage to help the injured bird they find in the garden.
Find out what happens when their single act of love, faith, and kindness creates far-reaching consequences that no one, including their mother and Grim, could ever have predicted.
The Prince, the Pilot, and the Puppy
A Novella in The Star Series
By Susan Grant (New York Times/USA TODAY Bestselling, and RITA Award Winning Author)
Trysh joined the Space Forces with the secret hope that her absentee father might notice her accomplishments and acknowledge her. At the top of her game as a starfighter pilot, the last thing she needs is a way too charming prince to get in her way. Trysh had learned at a young age what happened when a person lost their heart to someone above their social class – it led to heartache.
Prince Rornn feels fortunate he can pursue his passion both in the air and on the ground. He decides being third in line for the throne definitely has its advantages – it allowed him to join the Space Forces as a top-gun starfighter pilot. What he doesn’t expect is to find a woman there who not only competes with him – she completes him!
Everything Rornn tries appears to push Trysh further away – that is until they rescue a tiny, starving yipwag pup on the surface of an alien world. It turns out that “Puppy” is as good at sniffing out terrorists as she is at helping her two clueless humans figure out that they need each other as much as they do her.
Can Rornn convince Trysh that he is nothing like her father and that she is just the right woman for him before the terrorists discover their furry little companion?
Wired for Love
By Michelle Howard
Hunter Gils has put his past in the military behind him. Now his focus is on his bar and the less than savory clientele. Life is perfect – except for a gray-eyed beauty who refuses his advances.
Narelle Bindu wasn’t immune to the tall, dark stranger working at The Zone. He wanted her – and she wanted him. The only drawback was she didn’t have room in her life for a man, not even one as tempting as Hunter.
When a deadly attack creates the perfect opening for an old enemy, the two lovers must work together to survive. What they never expect is to find an ally willing to help them – even if that help has four legs. Can their four-legged friend keep Hunter and Narelle alive long enough to find out that one night would never be enough?
Rescued by the Cyborg
A Novella in the Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance Series
By Cara Bristol (USA TODAY Bestselling Author)
A cyborg’s haunted past and a Faria’s clouded future entwine…
Hostage and sole survivor Solia waits for death at the hands of vicious predatory aliens when Cy-Ops agent Guy Roarke disobeys orders and charges in. A former medic, he initiates emergency medical procedures before rushing her to Cybermed.
Guy is taken with Solia, but the guilt of a past mistake won’t allow him to plan for a future with the delicate, brave beauty. Life is so uncertain, he can’t even keep Mittzi, the kitten his niece gave him. What he can do is see to it Solia gets the help she needs for a full recovery. But when best intentions place her in greater danger, it’s up to a little kitten to make everything all right again.
Star Cruise: Songbird
A Novella in The Sectors SF Romance Series
By Veronica Scott
Grant Barton, a Security Officer on the Nebula Zephyr, is less than thrilled with his current assignment to guard an Interstellar singing sensation while she’s on board the ship. It doesn’t help that he is also dealing with a recent inheritance – of the feathered kind! The alien bird that his great-grandfather so kindly left him was now sharing his quarters and making his life miserable. It wasn’t helping that his assignment wasn’t making his job any easier either – at least until he had to save her life.
Karissa is on her way up the charts and seemingly has it all – talent, fame, fortune and devoted fans, but behind her brave smile and upbeat lyrics she hides an aching heart. When a publicity stunt goes wrong, Karissa finds herself in the arms of the security officer assigned to protect her – and discovers a mutual attraction she can’t ignore.
Trouble continues to plague the pair, driving a wedge between them and leaving Grant certain that Karissa is in more danger than she realizes. When a deranged fan issues a death threat, Grant is determined to protect Karissa whether she wants his help or not. Can he discover the truth behind what is going on before he loses Karissa, or is there someone else plotting to keep them apart – permanently?
A Novella in the Project Enterprise Series
By Pauline Baird Jones
Hiding in time is not as easy as you’d think…
Madison lives by the rules of a time travel rebel – never tell anyone your real name, not if you want to remain alive. On the track of a traitor, Madison and her parrot partner, Sir Rupert, time travel into a trap. Their only way out sends them back in time and into the arms of a man that ignites a fire inside her.
USAF Master Sergeant Briggs is in trouble – not the kind he’d like to be, but still in trouble. He is bored out of his mind! Ordered to recuperate on a quiet bay away from the Garradian outpost, he’s ready to mutiny and go back to his beloved engines. When his friends send him a gift from Area 51, he figures it will relieve his boredom for an hour or so – until he turns it on and he gets his second present of the day.
Madison would love to get to know Briggs better, but it is just too dangerous. Unfortunately, she might not have much choice. With a Time Service Interdiction Force on their heels, can the three craft a plan that will save a base full of geniuses and technology and discover a happy-ever-after forged through time?
Courting Disaster: StarDog 2
A Novella in the Inherited Stars Universe Series
By Laurie A. Green
From monk to married…
Captain Navene Jagger’s certainty he will be promoted to command a new battleship is doused when the admiral instead assigns him on what appears to be a suicide mission. If that wasn’t bad enough, he finds his self-imposed decision to be a military monk is thrown to the far reaches of the galaxy when he is ordered to escort Ketsia Tayah and her StarDog through the treacherous, rogue-infested Bradley’s Rift in a battered derelict of a vessel – a task that also makes him have to confront his painful past.
Ketsia’s past had taught her a lot. The universe was not only a very dangerous place, it turns out that it is also a lot smaller than she would have liked! Ketsia is rattled when she discovers that she and her StarDog are to be escorted by the man she formerly had a crush on. She swears life couldn’t get any more complicated until they are thrown into jeopardy and have to pretend they are married!
Jag soon realizes there is more at stake than his pride when dangerous rogues threaten their spaceship. After he learns the ship, the mission, and the StarDog are all much more than they seem will he be able to save Ketsia, his career, and the day? Or will self-sacrifice be the only way to save those under his protection?
A Novella in the Alien Attachments Series
By Sabine Priestley
Marco Dar’s position as an Earth Protector means he spends an incredible amount of time alone in space. His only company is with the talkative com unit. It isn’t until he stops at the Galaxy Spinner restaurant that he discovers his com has become sentient – and it wants a physical form!
Dr. Zara Mancini hasn’t seen Marco Dar in over eleven years. As far as she is concerned, that still isn’t long enough. When Marco approaches her with an unusual request, she is torn between her fascination with the project, and wanting to leave him eating her space dust.
Marco is quickly falling all over again for Zara’s beautiful smile and gorgeous lips. Young and foolish, he sabotaged their relationship years ago. Now he has a second chance. Can he convince Zara to help his AI, and prove to her that he is a different man?
Gib and the Tibbar
A Novella in the Galactic Defenders Series
By Jessica E. Subject
A dedicated Defender to the core, Gib is willing to go to any planet the Galactic Alliance sends him. That is, until he’s sent with his squad to Hemera for their Alorama ceremony, far from any threat of Erebus invasion and with no chance for promotion.
Vilarra has lived on Hemera all her life, working hard in the kitchens of the royal palace until she achieved lead hand. But learning of the universe beyond her world reveals her insignificance and shreds her sense of accomplishment and purpose.
With the help of a furry, little tibbar, Gib is determined to win the affection of Vilarra, prove to her how significant she is to him and the people who depend on her. But will his personal mission be cut short before he has the chance to win her heart?
A Novella in the Central Galactic Concordance Series
By Carol Van Natta
The vast Central Galactic Concordance strictly prohibits genetic experimentation and alteration of humans on any of its 500 member planets. Unfortunately, animals are not included in those regulations…
Veterinarian Bethnee Bakonin has made a home for herself on a frontier planet in the frozen north. Her minder talent for healing all kinds of animals would ordinarily assure her success, but her unwilling stint in the shady pet trade industry left her damaged and scared.
“Volunteered” for a black-box research project, elite forces Jumper Axur Tragon now has dangerous experimental tech in his cybernetic limbs. He escapes the project and steals a freighter, but ship damage forces him to crash-land in the northern mountains of a frontier planet. He’s surprised to discover the freighter’s cargo contains a secret shipment of designer pets. Determined to do right by them, he enlists reluctant Bethnee’s aid in caring for them—a definite challenge, considering Bethnee is terrified of him.
They will need all the help they can get from their unusual pets to save the day when ruthless mercenaries pose a threat. Can Axur and Bethnee work together to overcome their limitations, or will they lose everything they have vowed to protect – including each other?
A Novella in the Aeon’s Legacy Series
By Alexis Glynn Latner
Daya Tattujayan is the manager of a remote and nearly derelict space mining station. She has plenty of problems to deal with even before the interstellar syndicate that owns the station sends an auditor to check up on her work.
Rik Gole is a nomadic interstellar auditor with no roots to tie him down. He is ruthless when he has to be and very good at what he does, but Rik would be the first to admit that a woman like Daya and a place like this station are way outside of his previous experience.
Before Daya and Rik can decide whether they are antagonists, allies, or something more, an unexpected enemy attacks the station. To save their lives, they must dare to trust each other. And they need help from a very unconventional defender—Daya’s mysterious alien pet, the mascot of Star Corner Station.
Excerpt from Time Trap by Pauline Baird Jones
This time something happened.
There was a low hum that slowly built to just shy of annoying. He heard the moveable parts inside start to move. First one of the dots turned faintly red, then red flowed across the top of the disc. More humming and moving parts sounds, and the circles turned from red to green all at the same time, sending beams of green light toward the sky at least six feet in the air.
Interesting. Still not sure what it did.
He was tempted to stick a finger into one of the beams, but he knew better. Funny how knowing didn’t stop the wanting.
Oh, the human condition.
He looked around, found a stick, and carried it back to the beams. He poked it into one of the green lights. The stick glowed green, but nothing happened for a count of three, maybe four, then the end of the stick vanished.
Okay. Birthday present number three. Got to keep all his fingers. And he now knew this thing did something. Wasn’t sure what, but something. He went and shut off the video, then turned back to do the same to the disc, but right then the hum increased in intensity and the green lights began to pulse.
Watch the author read from her very own story:
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Pauline doesn’t love reality so she writes books. She tends to wander among the genres, rampaging like Godzilla (they were born the same year) through her characters lives, mixing peril and humor into her romance, but she always delivers a happy ending.
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