From: "Tom Kratman" <nrvlawaol.com>
I'm a political refugee and defector from the People's Republic of Massachusetts. The mechanism of my defection was enlisting into the Army in 1974 at age 17, which deeply distressed my high school (Boston Latin, founded 1635) as they thought I had "higher and better things" ahead of me. I served two years as an enlisted grunt with the 101st and 1.5 with the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama, getting 2 years of college done (when I wasn't in the field I was taking courses). At that point the Army gave me a scholarship and sent me off to Boston College to finish my degree and obtain a commission.
Graduated, cum laude, in 1980 and returned to the Army, as an infantry officer. I served another three year tour in Panama, then more schooling at Benning, then 4+ years with the 24th Infantry Division near Savannah, Georgia. Fun times then ceased for a while while I did two years in Recruiting Command.
Saddam Hussein (PBUH) saved me from this by invading Kuwait. I have been told that I was the only captain to actually escape from USAREC for the war. I arranged a transfer to Special Operations Command and went through the active part of the campaign with 5th Special Forces. I continued slurping at the Army trough until it became painfully clear that the bottom had dropped out of the militantly and violently aggressive anti-communism market and that I was not going to like the direction the Army (which was, arguably, the only thing I ever selflessly loved) was heading in.
Got out. Went to law school. Hated it but was far too pig headed to quit. Became a lawyer and realized that what I had felt about law school was but a pale shadow of true hate. Stayed in the Reserves and took every tour I could to avoid practising law. And when the reserves had nothing interesting there was MPRI ("white collar mercenaries R us")
Right now I am a mobilized Lieutenant Colonel at Fort Bragg. Turned out my heart was gunched and I am not allowed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I will go over 18 active years in a month and will stay until I retire. I have still not given up on the war and, once they manage to get "definitive heart care" in Bagdhad I should be able to ship over to join my son (we are in the same unit in the reserves).
I write for Baen and have one book coming out in December, another one set in Ringo's Posleen Universe that is almost complete (as in done by next week), and have contracted to do a series of five books with John. Jim and I are talking about doing a different series as well.
I am married to a (really beautiful) girl from rural western Panama. Yolanda and I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I also have a son, the aforementioned Sergeant Kratman, from a previous marriage.