Excerpts from New Military Book

Friday I gave you an outline of what my book, Signs of Hope in the Military: in and Out of the Trenches of Life.

Today I am going to actually share excerpts from two sections of my book.

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The first chapter is about my Basic Training:

Taking Aim On Perfection

One part of the basic training was done at the firing range. We all had to learn how to properly line up the sights on our rifles, and shot at the targets with some accuracy.

I had never shot a weapon before in my life. It was a little intimidating at first. The loud noise each time you shot was one thing, but the kick from the weapon on your shoulder was another. You had to learn how to “hug” the rifle and keep it tight against your shoulder to keep it from kicking.

The first day was mostly learning how to lie down in the right position, and how to wrap the strap properly around your arm to help keep the rifle steady. This got boring pretty quickly, but the leaders were determined to have us all doing it perfectly.

The second day was much more exciting. They had us actually shooting at targets. The targets were pop-up type of targets. You waited until one popped up and then shot. It tested your awareness and your quick judgement. The targets didn’t stay up long.

I took my shots and waited as others did their shooting as well. I wasn’t sure why I was done so much earlier than the others, but the soldier assigned to me told me I was the fastest at hitting all the targets of anybody in the platoon.

Then they had the targets further away. The first ones were about 50 yards. The second ones were 75 yards. I did the same thing. I was done much faster than the other men. I was beginning to like my rifle and what I was accomplishing.

When we started seeing that some of the men weren’t firing anymore. I was told that they were missing too many targets and would have to come back for more training. The targets were now 100 yards way (the length of a football field.) You really had to concentrate because the targets went up and down pretty fast. I hit all my targets again.

There were only about five of us left after the 100 yard distance. Then they told us we were to be shooting at targets about 150 yards away. At this time they taught us about “Kentucky windage.” This is where you aim a little higher on the target and let the wind bring the bullet down to the target, or just less velocity causes the bullet to start falling lower.

This was much harder. You had to aim above the target to hit the target. This was a very hard concept to learn. I had some miss hits, but the first round was just practice to let us get accustom to shooting at that distance. By the end of the first round I was hitting most of the targets. They were so small from that distance, and you didn’t have more than a couple of seconds to react when they popped up.

The final round came and I was ready. The targets popped up and I shot them down. I hit four out of five targets. The rest of the men didn’t do as well. I was named the champion of the shooting range, and from all that I received an Expert medal that I still have to this day.

Have you done something you are very proud of in the military? Even if it was many years ago like my experience was you still should be very proud. If you are now in the service cling to your good experiences to help you through your time there.

You are or have served your country, and anything that was a positive experience should be kept in your memories forever. Be proud!


I know that it is hard to “brag,” about anything good you did during your service to your country, but you have had good and bad experiences just like everyone else. We all tend to not talk about our bad experiences because they just reopen the wounds, but please share the good experiences with your friends and love ones. They will enjoy the stories, and you will feel proud of your accomplishments. You are not bragging!!

Think about his

Isn’t it funny that the more we share with others the happier we are?


+Every chapter in the book will have an ending like this. IWILL stands for Important Words in Life’s Learning.

Think about this: This is just a moment to ponder something usually pertaining to the chapter.


From South Korea:

It’s Tough Being the New Kid on the Block

After basic training I was accepted into the Army Security Agency, which is a unit of soldiers who, in my case, monitored radio/teletype transactions to make sure there were no breaches of security.

I was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for my training for that. I was separated from my two buddies there. I began to feel the loneliness again. Yes, there were hundreds of other soldiers just like me, but they weren’t from my home area. They were from all over the United States. They all had their own ways to approach people. Some didn’t want to have anything to do with the people around them.

I didn’t see why it was happening, and went out of my way to “cross the center line,” to the other side to get acquainted with them. I made some good friends on both sides, and didn’t get in trouble for doing it from either side.

Do you have family members, or fellow soldiers that you feel are isolating themselves from you? Are there those who want to be alone, and not mix with others?

I have felt that while I was stationed in Korea. There was a breakdown of short timers, (those with a month to go or less,) new guys who were “outcasts,” until they proved themselves, and the regular group who were in between.

I went through all three stages while I was there. However, I couldn’t let myself treat the new soldiers as outcasts. I learned that my first week there myself.

I was just settling in when two guys came walking up to me in my Quonset hut, (metal shelter.) They were both big and strong looking guys. One was African American, who looked like a linebacker, and the other was “tall drink of water,” from Texas.

I was every worried as they came towards me. Why would they fool around with a “newsikky,” (new guy) like me? They both had smiles on their faces and shook my hand. They greeted me like I was somebody important.

I figured they were the welcoming committee, but they weren’t. They were just two soldiers who had gone through the gauntlet like all new soldiers had to do, and they had decided that they would make sure no one else had to.

That was the one main factor that helped me cope while I was in Korea. I became very good buddies with those two guys. (Besides they were big and tough and they protected me!) They set the pattern that I used the whole time I was there. I felt it was my duty, because of these two men, to make the new soldiers feel welcome.

If you have been through some feelings of rejection in your world, reach out to someone who is in the same boat as you are and help them cope. Be like my two “angels” who came to make me feel welcome, and make others around you feel important and special.

You will not only feel good about what you are doing, but you will help someone who is struggling a great deal.


There are times when you have “down time,” in the military. Use that time to get to know some of the soldiers that don’t seem to have any friends. It may seem uncomfortable at first, and they may reject you, but they will never be the same. They will know that someone cares, and they will walk a little taller.

Think about this

Isn’t it great that when we smile at someone they smile back?


My next post will be excerpts from my time at FT. Bragg, and some interviews with veterans.


So how’s it going my friend? is the world treating you right? Are there days you just want to scream.?

I hear you!

There are many of us here on this site who have been through the same things. If you are hurting, don’t let the darkness overcome you! Get help!

There is a toll free number to call for help that is 24/7. The people there are highly qualified. There are 22 veterans who take their own lives every day. YES, I said every day. Most of them are veterans who never looked for help.

Here is the number:



+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. You may be saving a life. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

Man Claims He was a Vet, Cuts off His Hand to Get a role

Thanks to all of you who have been joining me here. We help bring change to lives. The response has been wonderful.  

We Made it to 8,727! Never dreamed we would do that. Thank you so much for the support. It also excites us that you are supporting veterans. That is our theme here right now. 

Help us make it to 9,000 by subscribing today if you haven’t already.  This shows you care for veterans. Just click on the subscribe button  right after the title of this post,  and the posts will come straight to your inbox.                            ____________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of the blog, Signs of Hope, which is at www.dailysignsofhope.com, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics.  


This is a new social network just for veterans. I joined it and made instant friendships with veterans who want to talk about what I want to talk about. Please check it out. You will be glad you did. 



‘Better Call Saul’ Actor Cut Off His Own Arm So He Could Pass As A Wounded Vet And Land Roles

There’s a lot of “out there” news these days, but this one takes the MRE pound cake for being straight-up bonkers.

Actor Todd Lawson LaTourrette — whose credits include brief roles on TV shows Better Call Saul and Longmire plus a bit part in The Men Who Stare At Goats — publicly outed himself as faking military service to get his big break during an Oct. 29 interview with KOB4 news.

But the story gets more bizarre, because of the lengths he went to do it: LaTourrette said that 17 years ago, he cut off his own arm, cauterized the wound, then made his own prosthetic, all so he could pass himself off as a war-wounded veteran.

Here’s how he explained it to KOB4:

“I severed my hand with a skill saw,” Latourette, who said he is bipolar and was off his medication at the time, told the local Albuquerque, New Mexico outlet. “The state of my mind was a psychotic episode.”

Following the DIY operation, Latourette began landing several television roles, including his recent part in Season 4 of Better Call Saul in September, after claiming he was wounded overseas.

“The film industry obviously took a different angle,” Latourette said in the interview. “That I was different. And they liked that.”

But Latourette said the lie has been hard to live with and hinted that it’s because he stole the limelight by claiming to be a veteran, when he wasn’t. He decided to come forward to make amends.

“I was dishonorable. I’m killing my career by doing this, if anyone thinks this was for personal edification, that’s not the case,” Latourette said. “I’m ousting myself from the New Mexico Film Industry. And gladly so, just to say what I’ve said.”

The actor told KOB4 that he’s not seeking forgiveness, just a chance to close this chapter in his life, and hopes his, uh, experience, may help others dealing with mental health challenges.

If nothing else, it’s a cautionary tale that there are limits to what you should do to land your big break in a cut-throat industry — like cutting off a limb to score a role that may have gone to a wounded military veteran looking for his or her big break.


Military Retirees And VA Disability Recipients Are Getting Their Biggest Pay Raise Since 2012

Military retirees and those who receive disability checks and some other types of pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs will see a 2% pay raise in their monthly paychecks in 2018.

It is the biggest cost of living (COLA) increase since 2012, equaling as much as $310 a month for those at the top of the retirement pay charts.

Many monthly benefits going up

Thanks to the increase, the average military retirement check for an E-7 with 20 years of service will go up by $46 a month, while an O-5 with the same time in uniform will see an $88 monthly increase.

Disabled veterans will also see a bump, with the average VA disability check going up about $3 per month for those with a 10 percent rating, and $58 for those rated at 100 percent.
How are you doing?
Are there too many days you would rather stay in bed than face the world? Have you had times you felt depressed from thinking about your deployment?
Be strong and know that we have your six. We care about you. If you need someone to talk to leave a comment and we will do whatever we can to help.
You must remember that you are not a sissy for getting help. I know, many people think that because you are a veteran that you should be tough. They are totally wrong.
If you need professional help you can call 24/7:
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all…never, ever, give up!

USS Aircraft Carrier Found in the South Pacific

I am going back to sharing some military stories. Many are very recent. Some are short and some are very informative.

USS Hornet Found in South Pacific

The wreckage of a U.S. aircraft carrier famous for launching a bombing raid on Japan four months after the Pearl Harbor attack was discovered in January.

B-52 bombers took off from the Hornet took off on April 18th, 1942 to attack the Japanese mainland. The attack was led by Lt Col James H. Doolittle.

Six months later the Hornet was put out of commission after being struck by multiple bombs and torpedoes.

While being towed by the USS Northampton the Hornet was attacked again by 11 Japanese bombers.

To prevent its capture, U.S. ships scuttled the Hornet with 16 torpedoes. When it finally sank It took the bodies of 140 sailors with it.

The estate of Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, funded the operation to find it.


I have another interview to share with you from my upcoming book:

In my book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life,

I have many interviews. Here is part of one of many:

I had the honor of accidentally connecting with a WWII veteran while shopping at my local grocery store. I saw him as I walked down the first aisle. I walked past him and then thought, Why didn’t I say hello and thank him for his service.

Then when I came into the milk aisle I saw him again. I walked over to him and told him thank you for his service. He said he was in Okinawa during the war. That was one of the bloodiest battles of the war.

We said our goodbyes, and went on. Then I wondered why I didn’t ask him if I could interview him. I was very angry with myself.

I got all my groceries and was heading towards a register. They have those dividers between each register so you can’t see the head of the line until you get there.

I came around the divider and there was the WWII veteran right ahead of me. That did it. I quickly asked him if we could meet and let me interview him. He said he would be glad to do it.

He gave me a card with his phone number on it and we parted our ways.

The next day I arranged to meet him at his home.

Here is what happened during the interview

I sat on the couch close to him because his hearing wasn’t good. I found out he was 98 years old. He look great for that age.

I began to ask him questions


What did you do while in Okinawa?


I was a Captain, and in charge of a company of shipping crews. We unloaded the ships as they came into the harbor.


You actually unloaded the supplies, ammo, and equipment for those that were on the front not far from you? That was a pretty vital mission.


Yes it was, and we were being bombed by the Japanese constantly.


What was your worst moment?


I was on one of the ships and I fell overboard right between a barge and the ship. They were very close together. I had to struggle and swim to the end of the ship to get out.

I also had to keep our men safe from all the bombing.

There is much more to this interview, but you will have to buy the book to find out what else he said. (This is called a hook!)


As a veteran, if you are struggling with the world as you know it, and having trouble mixing in the civilian world, you certainly are not alone. There thousands of your fellow brothers and sisters struggling along with you.

It is not showing you are weak by getting help. 22 veterans take their own lives every day. Many didn’t even try to seek help.

If you are struggling with PTSD, TBI, anxiety, depression, get help and do it now. There is a 24/7 connection for you to call at:



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never ever, give up!