Celebrating Heroism

I’ve had this image in my head for a few years now, and as I’m writing a superhero book this year, I thought it an appropriate time to post on my blog for Patriot Day.

Now, I’m not normally one to reminisce or to be filled with sudden bouts of patriotism just because it’s a holiday. I spent nearly a decade in the military (9/11 was a big reason I joined), so I probably see these days of remembrance a bit differently from the general public. However, as part of writing SUPERPOWERED, I’ve been analyzing the nature of what it means to be a hero on just about a daily basis. Maybe that’s why the sacrifice of our first responders and soldiers has hit home a little more this year.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen the above picture before; probably quite a few. But take a look at it again, and maybe give a few seconds to consider what it means to put a total stranger’s well-being above your own. On my more cynical days, I tend to think the simplistic “Women  and Children First” should be updated to “Cancer Researchers and Nobel Laureates first” but there’s something powerful in putting value in another human being, simply because of that shared humanity. You don’t have to make the ultimate sacrifice to be a hero. Everyday heroism can be just as inspiring. And today, I hope to inspire a few of you to make a difference in everyday life.

Here’s how:

A while back, Amazon introduced their Smile Program.  Basically, whenever you shop on Amazon, if you enter “smile” instead of “www” in the web address, you may select a charity and Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchase to that charity (at no cost to you). I use The Wounded Warrior Project for my purchases and I encourage you to do the same! This may only be a small “thank you” to those who’ve sacrificed their health for our freedoms, but if every Amazon shopper chooses to use the Smile Program, it can make a powerful difference. Obviously, there are numerous other ways to support charitable organizations, or even volunteer in your community, but I do most of my bookselling on Amazon so I wanted to help spread the word on this program.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who read my blog and books. After my time in the military I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, and it’s truly a gift to be typing away at my dream job day after day. I can’t say it enough: I’m only able to be a writer because you choose to be a reader! Thank you!

-James Schannep
11 September 2014


Feel free to share, comment, and like!

“Run for Alan” Sponsorship

Almost 18 months ago, one of my Air Force Academy classmates was hit by a drunk driver. He was lucky enough to survive but recovery has been difficult. Alan lived just down the hall from me at USAFA, so when I learned that his family was raising funds for his recovery, I knew I wanted to help spread the word.

Per-Mile Fundraiser, Jan 8 - Feb 28

Now through the end of the month, you can go to the Run for Alan fundraiser site and pledge support for Alan or get others to sponsor you through running or walking throughout February. New people who join and raise at least $25 I will send a signed book.

Just to reiterate, if you raise at least $25, I will sign a copy of either MURDERED or INFECTED and mail it to you, free of charge. If you already own the book, I’ll send it to whoever you’d like.

From the website:

In September of 2012 Alan Martinez (US Air Force Academy C/O 2006) was hit by a drunk driver on his way to work. He suffered serious brain and body injuries. Over a year later, Alan has been making incredible strides towards a full recovery. In order to get to his physical therapy treatments, however, his family is in great need of a handicapped-accessible van.

This fund-raiser will directly support the family in purchasing the much needed van. The proceeds will go through the local non-profit church, enabling your contributions to be tax-deductible.”

If you’re unable to donate yourself, please spread the word by sharing this blog post or the direct link to the charity event: https://www.athlete.com/events/177/run-for-alan

Thank you!