“Brave hearts do not back down.” — Sophocles

Welcome to the next stop on the Blog Tour de Troops, put together by the Indie Book Collective.  If you got here from Stephen England‘s website, hello!  The next stop on the blog tour is Paul Rice‘s site.  Take a look at what they’ve got to show you and leave a note for them so you get some free ebooks and so does a serviceman or woman.

Friday, November 11 was Veteran’s Day (Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations) this year, a time when we as Americans (or Englishmen and women, Canadians, New Zealanders and Australians, to name a few) celebrate the service (and unfortunate sacrifices) of many men and women in uniform who have put their own lives on hold for the good of others.  It’s a day of respectful remembrance, celebration, and appreciation we share with other nations across the globe, thanks to the shared experience of World War I.

The Great War ended on 11 November 1918.  It was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

It didn’t.

My great-grandfather served in the US Navy during World War I.  He lied about his age in order to enlist, wanting to fight for the country of his birth.  He was of Irish extraction but born in the United States.  He had only daughters, but his son-in-law served in the Army Corps of Engineers, rebuilding parts of Germany after the end of World War II.

My other grandfather, the son of a Chicago police officer, served in World War II, training fighter pilots on the home front.  He never spoke about his service, but several years before he died he wrote down everything he could remember of that time and gave it to me in a sealed envelope.

Now, three years after his death, I still haven’t been ready to read it, even though I asked him to write it all down for me.  He was buried with military honors, complete with an honor guard.  The flag that draped his coffin is now in the custody of my uncle, his oldest son.

There’s something important to our collective consciousness about soldiers.  Though I have never served myself, I realize know that there have always been servicemen (and women) in my life.  A family friend I called “uncle” who served in Operation: Desert Storm (I wanted to send him snow, because it just wasn’t right that he didn’t have snow in Kuwait), a cousin stationed in Omaha on September 11, friends and classmates who joined the service either because of September 11 or in spite of it, friends who are veterans who have come home after their time as different (and many times, better) people.  Though I have not always agreed with the government’s decisions to deploy troops, I have never wavered in my support or gratitude to these men and women in uniform.

Likewise, I am absolutely fascinated by the military, which is reflected in my fiction–in my imaginings of how things might work in some far future military apparatus.  The military of the Epsilon universe is much different from the reality of today’s modern militaries, though I like to think that I capture some of the camaraderie, some of the loyalty, the brother/sisterhood of arms that seem to be an inherent part of the heartwarming stories we see on the news and in the press on the home front.

Even in the days and weeks where I hated what people were being asked to do for the good of “national security,” my fascination with and appreciation of the military–the servicemen and women thereof–never wavered.

It takes a lot to serve your country, to sacrifice of yourself and your family for the greater good–because it’s not just about one soldier, it’s about their family, their community.  One person’s service changes everyone around them–that’s how I feel, in any case.  It makes us examine our lives, our feelings, the way we think and what we do.  Regardless of where they’re sent or what they’re doing, men and women in the armed services are doing their jobs for the greater good of all.

I have to believe that.  I hope you do, too.

This blog post was made as part of the Blog Tour de Troops, celebrating the service and sacrifice of veterans in the United States and the world over.  We appreciate your time and your service, even if we don’t always show it.

If you’re a serviceman or woman yourself, or a family member of a soldier, I’d love to hear your story.  Just leave a comment below.  If you just want to say thank you to men and women in uniform, drop a note as well.

Leave me your email address in your comment so I can get you set up for a FREE ebook copy of my debut novel, Epsilon: Broken Stars.  Every comment gets you a free copy–and a free book for a serviceman or woman.

Midday Edit: If you have a specific serviceman or woman that you’d like the book donated to, please leave their e-mail address in your comment as well as theirs so I can shoot them a link+code, too.

You can find Erin on GoodReads these days @ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5211226.Erin_Klitzke

And on Smashwords @ http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/EMBKlitzke 

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143 Replies to ““Brave hearts do not back down.” — Sophocles”

  1. The troops really deserve this! And I am honored to leave comment so a soldier can receive a book of their own to read!


    1. It might be, but I’m still not sure that I’m ready do to that, y’know? I know, I know, I may never be ready, but there’s something to be said for not rushing these things.

      My dad was his youngest son, and almost went to West Point (he opted for NIU instead). I wasn’t close to my grandfather until I was older–old enough to appreciate everything he’d done and everything he had to teach me. That envelope, tucked away for me and waiting for the right moment means that my grandfather has one last thing to teach me.


  2. hi Erin! my late paternal grandfather was a WWII veteran but he never held a gun. he served the American troops deployed in my country through his spatula. he was a cook and made sure the soldiers had their meals hot and ready. he may not have been out there dodging bullets, etc. but i am proud of of what he did. i also have an Uncle who is now a retired Naval officer. i agree with you. it takes a lot to serve one’s country. i may not be an American but the USA is a strong ally and i am grateful to all the men and women for their sacrifices in making this world a better and safer place to live in.
    thanks to you as well for your contribution to the troops and for being part of this tour. c”,)


  3. Thanks so much for taking part in this wonderful event. I am thrilled to comment so one of our troops can also get a copy of your book. It sounds good! Thanks so much!
    lauriej170 at gmail dot com

  4. Wow! I’m shocked to see such an outpouring this early in the morning. That’s awesome, guys! Thanks so much for your comments and kind words.

    It’s really an honor for me to be included in this tour–the troops really deserve some good reads, and I’m happy to offer mine as one of them.

  5. Would love to receive a copy. And thank you for the support of our troops.

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by!

      As of this point, I should be caught up on sending out links and codes. One has bounced back to me as inbox full but I’ll give it another shot later.

  6. This is such a wonderful program! I’m so impressed with what you are doing for our service men and women, Erin!
    My grandfather served and died in WWII. He left behind a wife and five young daughters. Veteran’s Day is one of the many days we honor his memory.
    Although I do not have a specific soldier in mind, I would love it if you could donate a book to a soldier from your request list. Also, I’m looking forward to reading your book myself! Thanks so much, and have a great weekend!
    vickikeire (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. It breaks my heart to hear that kind of thing–that someone’s grandfather died in WWII, or Korea, or Vietnam, so that his grandkids (heck, even his kids) never had the chance to know him.

      Thanks for the comment, Vicki.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s service through your words. I’m the daughter of a Navy man who served in Vietnam. Due to his exposure to Agent Orange, he passed away at age 44. My stepfather also served in Vietnam, and after that, he dedicated his life to helping veterans in all capacities, including administrating a veterans’ nursing home, among other capacities. My maternal grandfather and his brothers all served in WW II, his brothers in Europe, and himself in the Pacific.

    Thanks so much for participating in this! My email address is DiNozzoGibbs @ gmail. com

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. Your family’s legacy of service is certainly deeper than mine’s, and that’s awesome.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your father, though.

  8. Thank you for taking part in this tour and most of all thanks to all the members in our troops.

    andreagrendahl AT gmail DOT com

  9. It is my honor to serve. Thank you for your support every little bit goes a long way. ryan.mills68(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thank you for your service–without folks like you, willing to sacrifice of your own freedoms, none of us who enjoy the freedoms we have would be able to do so.

  10. My granddad served in the RAF during WWII and later went into Military Intelligence were he worked until the day he died in ’93. He was an amazing man and I miss him dearly.

    Thank you for your participation in this amazing cause, I would be honored to receive a copy of Epsilon: Broken Stars 🙂


  11. Thanks for supporting our troops.

    I’m wife to a former Marine so I personally thank him every day. My family has a lot of veterans as well as active members of the military.

    earthsbooknook at gmail dot com

    1. I have a little bit of an unhealthy fascination with Marines sometimes (probably because the earliest memory I have of a man in uniform is of the family friend I mention in his dress blues). Thanks for leaving a note!

  12. My grandfather served in the Navy in WWII. He never liked to talk about his service, but I do have some photos of him and his buddies, his certificate to plank ownership on his ship, and a certificate for crossing the International Date Line.

    Thanks for supporting the troops!

    reikibirth at gmail.com

  13. I grew up a military brat and come from a long line of those who have served our country. We lived over in Korea for two years as well. I would be in the military as well but due to medical reasons, can not. A special shout out to my father in law who in a Vietnam Vet and has a Purple Heart as well as other medals!

    nook_heartnsole at yahoo dot com

  14. Erin, thank you so much for being a part of this great cause. I’m sorry that I don’t have a story to share. Thank you for sharing yours.

  15. My husband and I met on July 4th. Our relationship moved very quickly. We both knew from the moment that we met, that this was who we were meant to be with. We moved in together just a few short days later. Eight short days after meeting, my soldier received his deployment orders. Yep just eight days.

    He has spent more time away from home than what we have known each other. I am not however bitter at that fact. I am a proud woman, proud that my husband has given up his own safety and comfort to serve this country.

    In the short time we have had together, we have moved in together, gotten engaged, and married. I love Jon with everything I am, and will stand next to him through every long hard day of his service.


    My loving husband:

    provert247 AT gmail DOT com

  16. I agree with you, I have great ambivalence about my country’s use of the military in the last several decades, but I do my best to honor those who have chosen to join the military.

    Thank you for participating in this great tour, I look forward to reading your book!
    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

    1. It’s a fine line to walk–to disagree with the use but still support the troops. There’s a lot of folks who think you’re anti-military when you’re just against the decisions that the government makes sometimes.

      I was glad for the opportunity to give back.

  17. My son-in-law is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq but will be back home before Christmas and will hopefully have leave so we can all spend the holiday together. While he saw more “action” on his first deployment, this second deployment has been harder on him emotionally.

    I can only imagine how hard it must be for him and for other troops that are deployed so far from home. I know that because of Zach I will now hold even more respect for our service men and women because I have a better understanding of what sacrifices they make.


    1. I hope he DOES get leave so he can stay through the holidays. I imagine that must be the hardest time for someone to be away–both on their family and on the soldier himself (or herself).

      Thanks for sharing your story.

  18. Books are one of the gifts that keeps on giving. So many troops are to appreciate this every time they read a book. Thank you! I’m glad this comment means a book to a soldier. I would like to read your book please.

  19. What an awesome thing you are doing for our troops! My husband was in the Navy and my mother-in-law and daughter were in the Air Force, so supporting our troops is a very personal thing for me:) Thanks so much for free book!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  20. Thank you for doing this!!
    THANK YOU ALL TROOPS ( past, present, and future) FOR YOUR SURVICE!!!!!!!

  21. I used to send care packages via ‘Books for Soldiers’, and this is an awesome way to continue that effort! Nothing is better to help someone ‘escape’ than crawling into a good book. 🙂

  22. Repeating what the others have said: thank you to the troops for what they do; thank you to you for supporting them and supplying them with a book to read; and thank you from me for your book – I can’t wait.

  23. Thank you for supporting our troops in such a generous manner! I know that each and every book received will be greatly appreciated! And thank you for allowing me to be a part of it through you!


  24. Thank you for supporting our troops. I’ve sent quite a few books overseas for troops myself what a great way to show support

  25. Thank you to all the service men and women who have served past and present. Look forward to reading your book. Thanks!


  26. Thank you, troops, for all that you do and thank you for supporting our troops through this blog tour.

  27. I’m incredibly shocked and grateful at the outpouring of thanks to our soldiers! Thank you guys all so very much for supporting this effort.

  28. I was in the military, but never resigned so I never had to go overseas. I have a lot of friends in the military, ones that are there now and also ones that lost their lives there, protecting our country. So this is amazing what you all are doing and I assure you well appreciated by them 🙂

  29. hi i am a War orphan from the Vietnam Era and i want to thank you so much for the support everyone is giving the soliders. Because when i was growing up we did not recieve any support and i pray that does never ever happen again because it was the hardest time for my mom left in a new city with no family and a house full of kids. I want you to know She Loved my Father so much she never Re-married or even dated.. He is one of the first sent over in 1962 never heard from again his whole group. So to this day know one but the govenment really know what happend All i want is to know what happened to all those men with my father and for every man and women to come back home safe.. Thanks Joannie jscddmj [at] aol [dot] com

    1. That’s truly awful, Joannie. I’m so sorry that happened to your family.

      You might be able to file a Freedom of Information Act request to find out what happened to him and his unit. It might be declassified by now.

    1. Sorry that it took a little bit to get your comment up, Karen. Looks like my spam filter caught you by accident! Thanks for leaving a note.

  30. Thank you for participating in the hop and gift to the soldiers.

    I wish that I had thought to ask my grandfathers for a sealed envelope, but I wonder if either of them would have still been reticent to share even that way. My dad shares some, a little at a time.


    1. I was absolutely blessed that my grandfather was willing to do that for me–and more blessed that my grandmother never knew that he did it. She’s still pretty big on secrets, even to this day, and I don’t think she liked the fact that he was in the service.

      It’s sad, but probably true.

  31. Erin, I really enjoyed your Veteran’s Day post. I am sure you have and will hear this from others — you should probably get around to opening that envelope. The reason is that it is a part of the legacy that your grandfather left behind to you and to not know what he had to say is to not know what the legacy is and to not know what the legacy is to not know how to honor it. I apologize for butting into such a deeply personal matter and I mean these words only as encouragement and for no other purpose. The envelope is an extraordinary story in and of itself. It is a blessing that he was thoughtful enough to honor your request for it. What a special bond to have with this most important ancestor.

    Again, I apologize for taking liberties to intrude in such a personal matter. But I am rooting for you in this and in all things.

    Best wishes to you, and thanks for sharing what by all accounts appears to be a sacred part of your life story.

    D. M. Kenyon
    author at lotus blossom book dot com

    1. Like I said in the note I sent you, D.M…maybe my New Year’s resolution will be to finally open it.

  32. My father and uncle served, my brother and brother-in-law served, a nephew served, and a niece and nephew are serving now.

    I know my nephew especially would love to have some books, but he is without internet where he is stationed. It is a wonderful thing you and your blog tour are doing for our troops. Thank you.

    My email is lapidaryprose (at) gmail (dot) com

  33. It’s very nice of you to share your work for this 🙂 I hope these books make somebody’s day better.

    hellenlovesbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

  34. I don’t typically read military themed novels, but one that I can remember is Last of the Mohicans. I saw the movie and it insirped me to read the book. Thank you for supporting our troops this way (and I have to say that I’m going to enjoy it too). My father, husband and brother-in-law have all served or are currently serving and anything that supports our troops is near and dear to my heart.
    Thanks again,

  35. I am honored to help out our troops. They are truly heroes. Thanks for your support of our troops.

  36. Thank you for participating in this tour as it is a very good cause and I’m happy to see so many authors coming together to do something special for our troops. shadow31071 (at) suddenlink (dot) net

  37. Hi Erin,

    A fellow Sci-Fi author stopping in to say Thank you to our troops and to you for participating in the tour! I’m always looking for other SciFi to read. Can’t wait to read Epsilon: Broken Stars.

    brjf @ yahoo [dot] com

  38. Thanks for being part of this event! My brother is serving, as have many others in our family. I think this is such a great idea!
    nebby AT zoominternet DOT net

  39. It’s been my honor and privilege to participate in this event. Giving back feels really good, even if it’s just a small thing like this.

  40. Your book looks like a fantastic read.
    Thank you for generosity and doing this for our troops!

  41. Thank you so much for your generosity and participation in this event and honoring our veterans on their day and giving to our troops the joy of a good book. You are appreciated.


    1. Thank you (and everyone else) who’ve taken the time to read and comment.

      Nan — having an issue sending you your ebook (your email’s bouncing).

  42. Hello! Thanks for the free read – I’m excited to read your book. Also, thanks for supporting our troops!!

    allyreads81 at gmail dot com

  43. Thanks for all the comments, thoughts, and encouragement, folks! It’s time for me to say good-night to the blogosphere, but anyone who comments throughout the rest of the weekend (and Monday, too) can expect to snag a free copy of Epsilon: Broken Stars for themselves and for a soldier, too. I’ll shoot you an e-mail when I catch the comments! if it takes a little bit of time, I apologize profusely–it’s going to be a long day at the day job Sunday, but if you leave a comment between 11 am and 10pm Eastern on Sunday, you can expect to have a link and a code by midnight, my promise.

    Thanks again, and happy weekend.

  44. Thank you for donating your book overseas. I don’t have anyone particular to send it to but maybe sending your book to a stranger who may not recieve anything from home is even better. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to reading your book!

  45. My cousin served in Iraq and was discharged after receiving some major physical injuries, some of which was head trauma. Tragically his life has fallen apart and he is having extreme challenges in reintegrating back into everyday life. From what my family says, he has severe PTSD. My heart breaks when I think of him.

    1. Sorry it took a minute to get your comment up! My spam blocker flagged it for some reason. Your e-mail’s on the way!

  46. My maternal grandfather served in WWII, as did 2 of his brothers. One brother, Howard, did not make it back home. The scars of that war never left my grandfather & until the day he died, earlier this year, he did not willingly talk about what he experienced as part of a heavy artillery unit in the Pacific Theater. He did however, speak often of his brother Howard & how much he missed him.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

  47. My father was born on veterens day and I lost him 13 years ago so this day has always held twice the meaning for me. I want to thank the troops for their dedication including my cousin Danny and dear friend Yves and also tell my father I love him and miss him dearly. 2vr.iver@gmail.com

  48. What a great cause – thanks for supporting our troops and for sharing your story!

    I look forward to reading your book!


  49. My father was in the Navy during WWII. From what I recall of what he told me, he could have gotten out of serving, but he enlisted anyway. So I appreciate any support for our troops.


  50. Thank you for supporting the troops the past, present and the future. And thanks for sharing your story. My Uncle was stationed in Germany, my Son-In-Law, Jeff, in Camp Victory in Bagdad, now my vet is stationed in Afganistan.
    Thank you for all your hard work.

  51. Hi

    Thanks for sharing this excellent blog post.

    It would be wonderful if you could donate my book as an additional copy to the troops.

    Thank you!

  52. Thanks for supporting our troops this way. I am sure a soldier would love a good book to escape to while they are away from their families protecting out freedom.
    Thanks again
    Linda Meza


  53. Thanks to everyone who left a comment in support of soldiers here today while I was at work! I should be caught up on sending out codes.

  54. I’m so glad there’s another Tour de Troops!! Can’t wait to see if there’s more comments than Memorial Day! What a great way to give our troops a little escape in a book while they are away from home and at war. Thanks IndieBookCollective!!

    I grew up a Navy Brat, so I greatly appreciate the sacrifice of our military and their families! As a former Navy Brat, I know the families definitely serve and sacrifice also! Luckily, my dad wasn’t sent to war (he was enlisted during the 70’s) but he had A LOT of sea duty and was out to sea for months at a time! He missed many birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We moved around the country a lot. So another big sacrifice was that we changed schools a lot (7 times in one school year moving from Virginia to California – literally coast to coast), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! I am so proud of his service. Just as I am so incredibly proud of all the heroic men and women fighting for us today whether they are overseas or stateside, they are all important to our nation. I can’t wait to see them all coming home, hopefully soon.

    I would like the troop book to go to my cousin Zachary Neer serving in the United States Army in Afghanistan.

    Thanks for the free book – can’t wait to read your story!
    missyebookmail (AT) mediacombb (DOT) net

    1. I’d be more than happy to make sure he gets a copy — can you shoot me his email dress in reply to the email you’ll get from me, so I can forward him a link and a code?

  55. Thanks to those who serve, their families – and to everyone participating in this tour. What a wonderful way to support the troops!

    beritlemons AT gmail DOT com

  56. Erin,

    I am a servicemember, the son of a servicemember (who has been married to two servicemembers). My family has a history of military service, although it is just short of being the family business. My great-uncle died as a young Ensign teaching Navy pilots in Florida. My paternal grandfather lied about his age to serve in WWII. My maternal grandfather served in the Army. I know nothing further about their stories, and since they have all passed on, I am not likely to learn more.

    I am frank about my service with my children. Well, age-appropriately frank. I do not expect any of them to follow in my footsteps. It certainly has affected them as much, if not more than any economic benefit we have received from the employment. You are right, one can’t help but be changed.

  57. Hi,

    Thanks for being part of the tour.

    To all of the women & men of the military, thank you for everything you do, the sacrifices you make, and for keeping our country safe! To the families of those in the military, thank you for the sacrifices you make each and every day.


  58. My dad was a WWII vet and landed at Omaha Beach on D-day. He didn’t live quite long enough to go on one of the Honor Tours and he didn’t talk about the war but he looked very dashing in the pictures. I think the war left him a little sad, the rest of his years.
    Thanks for the book and thanks for supporting our troops

  59. thanks for doing this. As an army veteran of multiple deployments, I can assure you that reading provides sanity and a chance to explore worlds outside the dust/rain/dirt of the present un-fun. With the advent of eBook readers it has become even easier to read, try new authors and to feel less cut off from the world.

    sincerely – Holly (prosekniticATyahooDOTde)

  60. Thank you so much for supporting our troops and for participating in this blog tour.

    thenarcissuslibrary at gmail dot com

  61. Thank you to all the troops in and out of service. You’ll never know how much you and what you’ve done for us means to us.
    jessangil at gmail dot com
    -Jessica B

  62. I’m a military brat. Both my fathers are and were retired Navy. My birth father went out as Senior Chief, and my step father as Warrant Officer. My brother in law retired as Cobb of the boat in the Navy.
    As you can see I’ve grown up around military the majority of my life. I live in North Carolina and I’m 45 mins. from Ft. Bragg Army Base and Pope Air Force base. I feel so safe living where I do with these wonderful Armed Service People surrounding my area.
    I thank them for putting there lives on the line to protect my right to be free. I thank there families for sacrificing there time to be without there spouse, sister, brother, dad, mom, uncle or aunt who serve in our Armed Forces.

    Teresa K.
    tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo dot com

  63. Indie authors are the best. Thought this was a great idea Memorial Day & so happy it is being repeated for Veterans Day. Hope our troops get lots of free books. Thank you for doing this.
    ackleybj {at} verizon {dot} net

  64. Thank you for supporting our troops like this! May they get all the books they can read!


  65. Comments on this post are now closed! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment.

    You guys have ensured that over 100 ebooks will make their way into the hands of men and women serving their country in the armed forces.

Comments are closed.