Finding Inspiration in the Not-So-Distant Past

We understand history by looking at the past through the lens of the present.

It is an inescapable fact that no person alive today was alive at the time of the American Revolution. Even if there were one or two people around, their perception of the events of that time would be limited to their perspective: what it was that they saw and experienced. People of my generation have lived through monumental events: The Space Program, the Collapse of the Soviet Union, The First Gulf War, German Reunification, The Somalia Crisis, The Balkan Crises, 9/11, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…just to name a few. But none of us has an omniscient view of these events. For each of us, we will always know these things from our own unique points of view.

When I write about the American Revolution, it is from my own perspective. Naturally I try to learn all I can to inform that point of view, but when finger lands on keyboard, my own experiences are shaping the story.

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C-66 in Paralovo, Kosovo in 2000.

As I write Gideon Hawke #5 I am telling the tale of Gideon Hawke at Valley Forge. Gideon finds himself in command of a company in the Pennsylvania Line. Perhaps inevitably I am looking at Gideon’s experiences through the lens of my own experience as a company commander in the U.S. Army. Unfortunately for Gideon, he will not be blessed with the amount of talent I had. I am biased, but when C Company, 1-37 Armor deployed to Kosovo in 2000, I had the privilege of working with an incredible group of men; it was an honor to serve by their sides, and frankly they made my job easy and enjoyable. Gideon will have many more difficulties than I did: his authority will even be challenged. But in his interactions with his troops, there will be more than a hint of what made the “Cobra Company” special.

 

They may be separated by an ocean and a couple of centuries, but the Cobras will find kindred spirits in the men of Hawke’s Company, 9th Pennsylvania Regiment.

Hiss!

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