Mission: Repair by Stacy Eaton
“Ms. Eaton takes on a subject that most people overlook. The trials and turmoil that our wounded men and women face when they return home from war.”
Technical Sergeant Brady Vanover had a solid career in the United States Air Force, along with a loving wife, and two young children. Everything was his for the taking, but after a non-life-threatening injury on deployment, Brady is for the first time unsure of his future.
Brady continues to struggle with his pain, fight the system, and figure out where his life will go now. With anger issues growing and his need to self-medicate with alcohol and pain medication, Brady finds himself teetering on the edge of losing himself and his family.
With the help of the Rise Again Warrior organization, Brady will have to work hard to repair what he has damaged, both mentally and physically.
NOTE: Mission: Repair takes an in-depth look at PTSD, depression, addiction, and suicide. This story may be difficult for someone how has dealt with such things.
The Rise Again Warrior Series is an intense and emotional journey through the lives of many service members, their families, and their friends. Focusing on the trials that they face after wartime is over, and they have returned home to a nation that sometimes seems to have forgotten what they were fighting for, and what all of these people sacrificed in the name of Honor & Duty.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I am a former military wife, and now the mother of a son who is currently servicing. I am a huge supporter of the military, and I wanted people to know the struggle they deal with once they return home. People forget about them, or don't understand them, and the services that are available to them, aren't always appropriate. Too many service members think they have no choice but to commit suicide, and that is very wrong. This series will hopefully help people understand and help those who need it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
While this series has a strong element of romance, it is much deeper than this. In this book, Brady and Gracelynn are married, and I wanted to show people the internal struggle that goes on with a military couple, especially when one of them is struggling physically and mentally. These two characters created themselves, and brought life to the book through their combined struggles.
Master Sgt. Stuart Hoyer was heading toward us with Evan, an airman first class, and I turned to them, nodding respectfully. “Afternoon, Master Sergeant, Evan.”
“Vanover, how are you today?” Sarge replied.
“Doing well, Sarge. Wiseman is almost done with the tune-up.”
He nodded. “Good, glad to hear it.” He grinned. “Can’t believe we have one more week, and then we are out of here.”
“We were just talking about that,” Wiseman commented as he glanced over his shoulder. Both of his hands were wrist-deep in the nacelle.
“Thinking about what you’re going to do when you get home?” Evan asked him.
“Damn straight,” Wiseman replied with a smirk.
The three of them started talking about their plans when they returned, and I shifted off to the side, enjoying the conversation but not feeling the need to partake in it.
Instead, I thought about the day I graduated from BMT. My mother had come, along with my younger brother and, of course, my wife. I had never been prouder of myself. I was proud of the accomplishments I’d achieved and proud of my fellow airmen and airwomen who had been in my training squadron. There were two flights, or groups, in our squadron, and I respected every person in them.
The thirty-nine of us left of my flight had a bond that would last a lifetime. Even now, ten years later, I was in contact with many of them. Sadly, of the thirty-nine of us that graduated that day, seven were dead from training and wartime situations, and another one had committed suicide last year. That left thirty, plus me.
Seeing my brothers and sisters die in battle was difficult, but they had trained us on how to cope when we went through BMT—well, as much as they could anyway. All of us dealt with loss and grief differently.
Like Mackerel, who had been the life of the party in boot camp and had hid pain behind his jokes until he couldn’t deal with it anymore, he had succumbed to his despair and put his service weapon to his brow last year.
That had been crushing news coming from another one of my original flight mates a few weeks before I deployed to the Middle East. This was my third deployment, and I was glad that it was almost over. I’d been lucky to be spared the anguish and torment to which so many others had fallen victim.
Just last week, one of the guys in our squadron had lost his mind, drunk as a skunk, and rightfully crying like a baby over a chopper crash that his biological brother had been in six months earlier. It was bad enough that he had died, but Cox had watched it happen when a rogue surface-to-air missile had been shot off by an insurgent hiding in the mountains to our north just after takeoff.
Twenty-two lives had been lost in that attack, and Cox had held it together as long as he could before the demons exploded and took him down. He was home now, despite protests to stay. Hopefully, the counseling he was going through would help—maybe—I hoped so.
“I’m going to head to chow,” I told them as my stomach growled. “I’ll see you guys there in a few.”
As I began to walk across the tarmac, the other Osprey was powering up. A group of marines were gearing up to load.
The engines were loud, and I pressed my hands over my ears as I’d left my hearing protection in the hangar.
I loved the Ospreys and the versatility they had. They were designed to do both a vertical takeoff and landing, or a short takeoff and landing. It brought the conventional aspect of the helicopter and incorporated the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
It was a beautiful machine.
I had always been one to love tinkering with engines and mechanisms, hence the reason why I went into Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems.
I lifted my eyes above the Osprey as something caught my eye in the distance. Because of the sound of the Osprey, I never heard the missile being shot toward us, but I didn’t need anyone to tell me that was what it was. I had seen enough of them.
The world around me slowed as I began to run and wave my arms. I yelled, but my voice got lost in the engines, and it was too late for that anyway.
The Rocket Propelled Grenade clipped the working Osprey’s tail and made a beeline straight into the hangar where it exploded into the second chopper where I had just been standing.
The blast launched me off my feet as projectiles spewed in every direction, and I was slammed into a wall some feet behind me, my head striking so hard that I saw stars. My ears rang at a pitch I had never heard, and my right leg burned like crazy as I crashed to the ground several feet down. I managed to open my eyes once. The smoke was billowing into the blue sky, the flames playing peek-a-boo in the charcoal smoke. On the ground in front of me was a forearm, the name Monica scrolled in dark ink.
As my eyes closed, I had a feeling that I would never see my family again, and Gracelyn’s angelic features came to me for only a moment before everything went blank.
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