Posts Tagged With: Navy Seals

The Terminal List by Jack Carr – Part 2

Jack Carr The Terminal List

Okay, I’m a few days late, but here is the second part to my review of The Terminal List by Jack Carr.

I want to get into the conspiracy theories promoted in this story.  To tell you the truth, I started getting pissed.  First from the prologue, wanting to know who the hell sent this SEAL team to die, to murder them while they are doing what they’ve been trained to do, while they believed they were serving their country.  I can only imagine thoughts like that have to be in the back of the mind for those out there putting their lives on the line.  What a betrayal! These guys risk their life for the mission, for their country, because they believe in their country. They are trained to trust their teams, and the people in authority over them. These teams are made up mostly of fathers, sons, husbands, and brothers with a deep sense of duty and honor.  It’s a hard job and they can get lost at times, lose sight of the mission, lose themselves beneath stress and pressure, but at their heart they’re our heroes.  To have someone betray that trust, and then use that betrayal to cover their own selfish agenda is deplorable.

I’m not naïve. I know the world is full of greedy bastards that kill, manipulate and plunder for their own material gains.  There’s a lot more than I’d like to admit, but that’s the way of the world. In this story, this betrayal comes from the leaders that our protagonist, Lieutenant Commander James Reece, trusted and obeyed, not only who tried to kill him, but killed his brothers-in-arms. So, I was asking, ‘What the hell was this level of betrayal for?’ thinking money was the root. Yes, ultimately, money was the root to this evil, but author Jack Carr doesn’t just give us that simplistic single reason – no, we get slapped with another double whammy with an even bigger betrayal – the Team guys were murdered because they were evidence, they were guinea pigs for experimental drugs.  Before they were terminated by enemy bombs, they were first terminal victims of a biological weapon.

Man, oh man.  Fear is a bitch, and I can imagine that again these types of fears of betrayal are on our Team guys’ mind at times. I found myself getting angry the more I read this story. I know its fiction, but its plausible issues that our SEALs could face and it just makes me irate that it probably has happened in some fashion, or probably will happen at some point.  What a messy business.  Rescuing and killing. I can’t imagine how hard that can be on a soul.

The Terminal List by Jack Carr definitely stirs the mind and pushes my buttons. I do recommend it, it’s very well-written, it’s a great read, but it’s not for the faint-hearted or the weak-minded.  An ostrich can’t read it, a sheep couldn’t understand it, a wolf would be offended, and a shepherd would be ashamed.

I planned on a third part of this review to talk about all the guns and weapons described in this book, but I really don’t understand them. I love that a glossary was added, but while I can’t appreciate the beauty of the weapon (but I’m sure a weapons guy would love those parts best) I got the gist the story. They served their purpose, but I’ll leave those details to those who know what they’re talking about; I’ll stick to the writing, the pacing, and dialogue, the moral of the story, the emotion, and the writer’s voice.

Jack Carr is a natural story-teller, a silver-tongue, and I love listening to his interviews and podcasts.  He writes a really well story, with great pacing, and good structure.  I look forward to reading True Believer.

If you haven’t read Terminal List by Jack Carr – go read it now!  You won’t regret it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Author Appearance, author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Book Release, Book Review, Book Signing, Inspirational, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Be So Quick To Judge

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If you know me, if you’ve met me, or if you’ve read any of my blog posts over the past several years, you would probably say that I’m able to easily express my emotions, that I’m an emotional person, or that I’m clearly in touch with my emotions.  You’d be wrong. Very wrong. It takes a hard, concerted effort, and one that I have to work on EVERY day to express my emotions, or to even acknowledge them.  I sometimes fail. I sometimes fall back into my safety net, and cower behind my wall of steel, stone and ice, to protect myself from feeling the full impact of the pain that’s in my life.

If you’re shaking your head, because you don’t believe it – let me explain.

I have PTSD, and a pretty bad case of it. For those of you who instantly just filled your mind with the idea that those who battle with PTSD are weak, you’re fucking wrong. Let me repeat: YOU ARE FUCKING WRONG!  THOSE who FAIL to face their truth and battle with their PTSD are the weak ones, not the other way around.  The strongest of souls fight battles every day most of us don’t even have an idea of their struggle, because they’re not weak-ass pansies throwing their problems on everyone else, looking for that pat on the back, or that bit of sympathy. They acknowledge their pain, face it, and deal with it head on no matter how hard, how much it hurts, how much it’s going turn their world upside down.  They are not quitters.

I hate pity and sympathy. It irritates the shit out of me when people feel sorry for me when they learn about some of the struggles I’ve been through. I hate it. It’s one of the reasons I had kept my mouth shut for so long, because I hated to see that look on their faces or hear that sound of pity in their voices – and then watch as they begin to treat me like a victim – with kid gloves, afraid to offend me, afraid to be themselves in order to not hurt me. If I broke so easily, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  I’m the strongest fucking person I know in this world and I hate being treated like a victim or a fragile flower. But that’s the kind of world in which we live, where people want sympathy and excuses for their failures instead of someone refusing to carry their lazy asses and tell them to pick themselves up off the floor and fight.  I hate fucking excuses and I literally hear them day in and day out.

I don’t pity others.  If you come to me with your sad story – you WILL tug at my heart strings. I’m a fucking bleeding heart – but then you’re going to stir the warrior inside and I’m not going to come to you and put my arms around and you pat you on the back.  I’m going to get in your face and ask you what the fuck you’ve done to pull yourself out of the situation, to protect yourself from it happening again, what you’ve learned, and what you’re doing to fight to protect yourself.  If I see you fighting – I’m going to jump in the lion’s den with you and do whatever is necessary to help you succeed.  But, if you’re cowering in the corner – and want me to do the fighting for you – THAT SHIT AIN’T HAPPENING. I’ve nearly killed myself saving fucking victims. I can’t do it.  I won’t do it.  If you’re a victim, if you are immobilized because you can’t get over your shit – I can’t help you. I have no sympathy for you.

I don’t want to know what you WANT to do. I want to know what you’re DOING. I respect someone flat on their ass because they’ve failed attempting to fulfill their dreams, or attempting to overcome something that’s holding them back, than some whiny-ass bitch with a bunch of dreams but doing NOTHING to make that dream come true. I admire people that don’t give up. I admire people that aren’t afraid to own their failures and mistakes. If your ass is broke because you half-ass everything you do, take short cuts, or have a bitter attitude that you’re struggle has ANYTHING to do with your culture, skin color, opportunities, sex, or breeding – I can’t even talk to you. FUCK YOU. I hope you lose everything you’ve got so that way maybe you’ll be forced to struggle to fight for everything and learn to respect yourself and learn your worth and stop making fucking excuses for your failure. YOU own your success or failure.  And we more than likely have a different definition of failures – because some failures are victories if there was something learned or gained.

THAT is an example of my PTSD.  I will help, protect, fight with, and be open with honest, straight-forward people. But, I don’t trust most people. I don’t even like people to touch me or get into my personal space.  If I hug you or allow you to touch me, it wasn’t nothing – it took a huge effort and a whole lot of trust. And being able to write my truth – that took a long, long, time to get to this level of freedom. My breakthrough came when I started writing to MYSELF. When I started to love the warrior inside, the woman that deserved to be acknowledged and appreciated.  It took me until I was almost 30 years old before I could even cry.  I never said the words “I Love You”.  Ask my first husband. All we ever got to was, “I like you a whole lot.”

So, the point I’m getting at is this – when you meet someone who has a hard time expressing their emotions – quit expecting them to respond to things and situations in the way YOU would respond. They are not you.  If you see them struggling to express, step back – you don’t know what they’re carrying. Now, don’t give place to victims. Don’t placate or enable victims’ excuses.  And don’t take disrespect from them either. No matter what they’re struggling with – love yourself enough to expect to be treated with respect. If you don’t get it, ask for it. If you still don’t get it – show them your back because they’re nothing but fucking vampires and they’ll suck the life out of you in an attempt to fill their own emptiness. Treat people with respect for who THEY are – take the opportunity and time to find out HOW to relate to them. That’s the ultimate expression of love and respect is actually observing and giving someone the focus and time to get to know THEM for who they are inside.  If you’re too busy, or too self-absorbed, you’re a shitty friend and just move on for their sake.

If I care about someone, I’m Nancy-Fucking-Drew. I’m always asking questions, observing how they respond to me, quick to apologize if I over step, and am honest – brutally and openly honest.  A lot of people can’t handle truth because we live in such a disconnected world, hidden behind our social media and self-help bullshit, quick to just ghost and hide from responsibility and then whine and complain that shit don’t work. We’re too quick to swipe left or right, and when things get hard (and ALL fucking life is hard at some points) we run back to level one where it’s easy. We get offended too easily. My best friend right now is someone I’m not afraid to get in her face, and she’s not afraid to get in mine, because we know we may get mad, but we will always be back the next day to work it out.

I actually had a guy tell me the other day he doesn’t like drama. He doesn’t respond to drama and only wants to hang out to have ‘fun’.  I’m sorry – but that’s not a FRIEND. That’s a fucking acquaintance, or what they call a ‘fair-weathered friend’.  I don’t need those in my life. I love my sunshine and I love to share my sunshine with my FRIENDS who’ve been through the storms with me. They deserve my sunshine. Fucking fair-weathered friends don’t deserve anything from me – especially my time. My time is valuable and precious. When I’m with my friends, they have my full focus. I need them at times, and I need to be there for them at times.  Yes, we shouldn’t surround ourselves with negative people. I will be the first to send someone stepping if all I hear out of their mouth is negative bullshit. But, there’s a huge difference between a negative person and someone going through something.  I am deep, and I’ve got deep wounds and no weak ass punk is going to be able to handle my truth. That’s probably why I love badass Rangers, mean ass Marines, and those warring Navy SEALS. They make street thugs look like fucking pussy cats. I’m the daughter of an International Cartel Drug Dealer – and I’ve seen some shit – but I don’t have anything to worry about when one of these guys have my six. NOT ONE FUCKING WORRY. They can handle it.  But, no matter how tough they are – emotions may not be something they easily handle. But that in no way makes them weak.  Those who don’t take the time to try and understand how to listen, how to relate – they are the weak ones. A warrior is deep, and only deep can hear the deep.  Leave all that shallow ass bullshit for those fair-weathered friends.  I’m not a frogman, but I swim in deep waters.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Destiny, Dream, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Musing, Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Don’t Need More Sleep

We Don't Need More Sleep

“No, we don’t need more sleep. It’s our souls that are tired, not our bodies. We need nature, we need magic, we need adventure, we need freedom, we need truth, we need stillness.  We don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live.” ~ Mermaid Musings

Still meditating on the amazing words spoken by Navy Seal Admiral McRaven in his commencement speech to the graduating class of 2014, inspiring us to make our beds as a first step to changing our world, this beautiful saying by Mermaid Musings compliments it well.  I agree, we don’t need more sleep, we need to wake up and live. Wow – that hits right into the center of my soul.

I sleep when I’m depressed, when I’m emotionally tired and worn out, when I’m feeling hopeless and afraid.  When I’m not wanting to deal with the stresses and pain of this world, I long to sleep and slip off into a land of fantasy and hope and magic. There’s nothing wrong with that, and perhaps at times in our life we need it, but not for too long, not for too often, and not as a way to avoid living our lives.

Life is hard, but it’s also good.  It’s tough, always, but so are we.  I have a friend who is a Navy Seal and he says that the easiest day was yesterday.  That is so true.  I’m not looking for easy, I’m hoping to find an inner strength inside that gives me the strength to conquer each day.  I start that by making my bed every morning, making and completing small goals throughout the day, working toward bigger goals for the week, the month, the year and the rest of my life.

Making goals and chasing them – that’s living.  Living isn’t dreaming – but chasing the dream.  Living is feeling everything – the good, the bad, the happy, the sexy, the heartache, the joy, the love, the pain, the rejection, the failure, and the success. I try not to deny any of it, because all those feelings and experiences make me who I am.

I don’t want to sleep my life away. I don’t want to miss an opportunity, an experience, or a moment because of fear or being too lazy to care.  Life is messy. It’s hard. None of us are perfect, but we are perfectly imperfect.  I’ve been through hell and have endured unimaginable horrors, but I survived and I overcame.  I love in spite of hate. I care in spite of indifference. I hope in spite of failure. I keep loving in spite of rejection.

We get one life. One.  I’ve been here forty-seven years and my tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I don’t want to put off tomorrow what I can experience today. I don’t want to put my life on hold, hide, or sleep away biding my time until magic happens, because it never will.  The only magic we get in our lives is the magic we make, we pursue, and we imagine as we are living.  Not every day is going to be a good day, but I want to be alive in the midst of them.

I’ve lost so many people in my life that are not here anymore or not part of my life anymore – and loss hurts.  Change hurts. Love hurts.  But, I’d rather hurt that not feel anything. Because if I don’t feel the pain, I also don’t feel the love or the joy. I want to feel it all.

I’m in the beginning stages of falling in love right now. I’ve met a wonderful man who I admire and he inspires me so much every day to live.  I can’t guarantee our future, or if he will even be a part of it, but I’m open to see what happens and go where this path may lead.  I’ve met some great new friends who make my soul happy, who encourage me not by their words, but because they’re busy living their lives and pursuing their passions. I love people who are chasing their desires, setting goals for themselves, and doing what they love.  I’d rather be with someone who has nothing and struggling to achieve something, than be around someone who has everything but lack vision or a goal.  I love the dreamers and the visionaries, and people that are not afraid to risk their hearts.  I’ve missed that so much in life.

No, we don’t need more sleep – we need to wake up and live!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, music, Musing, Musing., Musings, Philosophy, Quotes, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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