Lots of book news…

and a few “bumps” to share.

We finished book two and sent it to the publisher in early July. The work involved 1500 hours by yours truly, an additional 1500 hours or more from my dear wife Laura, and countless more from veterans who shared their stories. Writing books takes lots of research along with significant time from Andrea, our terrific editor in Tennessee. 

Laura mentioned, “Jerry, this is a lot of work! “

I responded, “I know, honey, but the veterans who protect and defend the US give their time, sweat, and sometimes, their blood. We spend our time listening to them recount their memories, often through tears. I owe it to them to reflect on the nature of their suffering, anxiety, fears, and sacrifice in this writing. So, let’s press on.”

We did and were able to press the send button on the manuscript of 30 stories, covering a book of over 200 pages, the third week of July. 

Three weeks later, our publisher emailed me with this alarming news. “Jerry, I will need to send the manuscript back to you. The material is just too graphic in spots for me (a dedicated Christian publisher) to bring to print. I am certainly not saying the book isn’t worth publishing. Quite the contrary. There are many publishers out there who will gladly publish this book. I can send you the names of two I know personally.”

When Laura and I got that news late on a Friday afternoon, I fluctuated between disappointment and sadness. After reflection and prayer over the weekend, I called my literary agent, Bob. 

“Sorry, you got that news, Jerry. It happened to another author I represent a few years back. After reflection, we decided to take another look at the manuscript,  re-worked the problematic areas, and re-submitted the manuscript to the publisher. The new manuscript was published.”, Bob recounted.

Armed with that terrific advice, I talked with my publisher on the following Tuesday morning, sharing the guidance of Bob, the literary agent. 

“That’s good advice, Jerry. If you are willing to take another pass through the book, soften the areas of intense suffering and gore, and reflect a bit more on the faith emphasis of the veterans while in combat, I believe I can publish it.”

She also suggested we change the book’s title to So Help Me God, after the last four words of the oath of enlistment. “With those changes, I will be able to publish the book.”, She said.

Isn’t life amazing? After four days of feeling sorry for myself, I received good news. But that is not the most exciting news. 

What she said after that news blew my 75-year-old mind. 

“Jerry, I was looking at your website: FBL4U.com.  I like what you are doing there. Let me take a look at some of the lessons. I may be interested in publishing them.”

So friends, in the middle of feeling sorry for myself, good news came. I encourage you to hang in there when you’re sick, tired, or sick and tired of being sick and tired. Keep working and clinging on to your dream. 

We are working to revise the vital areas of the manuscript for So Help Me God without losing any of the meaning and return the updated manuscript to the publisher. Our goal is to have it ready before Christmas. 

Stay tuned for the next update. 

God Bless!


If you enjoyed this blog, please like and share it with your friends on social media to help spread the word about Combat Survivor Heroes. A portion of all book proceeds is donated to local veteran causes. 

Jerry’s second book, So Help Me God is being reviewed and edited for a late fall publishing. His third book of combat stories is to be published in the late fall of 2022 and will be entitled:  Stories from the ‘Bone: B1B bomber

If you are interested in a signed copy of our first published book of combat survivor stories, When Heaven Visits: dramatic accounts of military heroes, you can click the link below. For a discount on your purchase, leave a review of the book on Amazon, take a screenshot of your review, and email it to combatsurvivorheroes@gmail.com.


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Details of the two wonderful veteran causes we support can be found on the Resources page of the Combat Survivor Heroes website. 


Above: Jerry Barnes, Author of upcoming book, So Help Me God.



Our daughter…

and her son Kaiden were feeding these beautiful sand cranes in the backyard of their Florida home while I was visiting. “Noah” (the male bird) and Allie (named after my mother) stop by for a snack pretty much every day.

We were able to see them take the food directly from our daughter’s hand a couple of times. Very trusting, these beautiful creatures teach us much by their habits. They “speak” in a friendly manner, saying “thank you” (in crane language) for the food and protest when our daughter is a couple of minutes late in showing up for feeding time. Sometimes they just fly by, stop in for a snack from the feeding tray and fly off.

Normally inseparable (since Sand Cranes mate for life), this time of year, they stop by individually. Therefore, it must be hatching time and one of them is near or sitting on the nest, protecting the little baby cranes who will “peck out” and show up soon. I imagine we may see Dad, mom, and kids a few times before babies select their mates and start the new lives together (for life)!

Kindness, caring for each other, and friendship for life are virtues the men and women combat veterans we write about, demonstrate for life!  Caring for each other is a must in the combat zone. Doing what it takes to bring every buddy home is a commitment that soldiers risk their lives to honor. We write about these and other virtues in our next book, Angels on the Battlefield. Book two publishes later this spring and has 30 terrific stories. See you in the next blog.  Author, Jerry Barnes


If you know a veteran who would like to share their story with me for a future book, just ask them to visit the contact page of my website, or click the button below. 

If you enjoyed this blog, please like and share it with your friends on social media to help spread the word about Combat Survivor Heroes. A portion of all book proceeds is donated to local veteran causes. 

Be among the first 100 people to receive an advanced, signed copy of Angels on the Battlefield. You can contact me for details by clicking the button below.

You can also use the link below If you would like a signed copy of my first published book of combat survivor stories When Heaven Visits: dramatic accounts of military heroes. For a discount on your purchase, leave a review of the book on Amazon, take a screenshot of your review, and email it to combatsurvivorheroes@gmail.com.


contact me


Details of the two wonderful veteran causes we support can be found under the Resources page of the Combat Survivor Heroes website. 

Cover Image: Sand Cranes from pixabay. Above: Our daughter and her son feeding Noah and Allie. 

Blisters covering his body…

the little guy couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old when frantic parents, brought him to our field medic station in Iraq. A pot of scalding cooking water fell on his left side, burning him from head to toe. Compounding the grim situation, his poor parents waited for two days before realizing that no home remedies were able to provide relief.

The chaotic scene brought instant thoughts of my three children in Illinois.

Lifting the crying little guy to the treatment table, assessing his pathetic situation, we knew some form of relief must be found.

Morphine? Can’t do that. I am not a Dr.

Let’s begin debridement, drain the blisters, then apply medicinal cream to soothe each area. 

The slow process began, enabled by loving care and mounds of chocolate cookies.

An hour later, cries reduced to an occasional whimper, The Champ realized we were bringing relief to his pain.

 A week later, he was running around like any little six-year-old.





The Champ is one of several medic mini-stories in our next book, Angles on the Battlefield, scheduled for a Feb ’21 publishing.

Be sure and sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates and stories.

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Signing up for our newsletter is the easiest way to stay connected and follow our writing progress. We’ll include details on discounts, free stories, and updates on future books. As always, proceeds from our book sales are donated to local veteran non-profits.

Above: photo of The Champ featured in Angels on the Battlefield, 2021

A flat tire…

on the lead vehicle could not have come at a more inopportune time.

 Pinned down, in the middle of a planned trap, intense enemy fire, rained on James and his buddies.  Caught in the “staged firefight trap”, James and his unit struggled to free themselves.

With the lead vehicle disabled by a flat tire, something, someone had to do something or matters would get worse, much worse!

“Can you guys cover me while I change the tire, James yelled over the radio?”

“Got your back man”, one yelled over the radio.

The friendly fire int intensified as his buddies gave precious cover for James to pull the truck to the side of the inoperable vehicle. A few minutes later, the tire was changed.  James, back in the wrecker, yelled “Let’s get outta here!”

Enemy fire suppressed, the lead vehicle pulled away and the convoy headed to the base.

I write about these heroes in our new book, “Angels on the Battlefield”.  Thirty-one stories of combat survivor heroes are told for the book, headed to a Fall ‘20 release.

Check the author web site and place your orders at CombatSurvivorHeroes.com



U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Beuterbaugh


My wife and I …

served in five locations during our career in the Army. The first was Norfolk, VA home of one of the largest naval bases in the world.

Opportunities abounded for getting to know and helping encourage others.

Naval operations normally occurred on six-month rotations. When a carrier battle group left town it normally took ten to twelve ships, including the carrier and 8-10.000 naval personnel, many of the men.

That often left mom to keep home fires burning, shuttle kids to soccer practices, patch up scraps, administer discipline, keep cars running, and washers washing, while working a job, just to make ends meet. Needless to say, she was always busy.

While dad was away for six months, roofs still leaked, cars stopped running, washers stopped washing, dogs ran away, kids got sick at school and needed to be picked up. I can’t tell you how many times we just listened, and did what we could to help, as these young moms struggled, wanting to see her mom and dad, perhaps a thousand miles or more away. Sometimes, we cried with them. After all, we were just kids ourselves.

Looking back, we made it through, richer for helping encourage someone in their time of need. My dear wife did much of that encouraging and helping. The retirement check we receive each month is just as much hers as it is mine. In fact, she probably worked way more hours than I worked. She is certainly a key part of our team-perhaps the key.

Author, Jerry Barnes with Wife Laura