Mystery Writer Don Lewis

Buy My Books for the Kindle and Nook for Only $4.99 From My Website

Nov 16, 2013

Great Holiday Gift Idea for the Reader on Your List -- Buy Four of My Mystery Novels!!!

"Mystery Books — Holiday Gifts Idea, 4 Book Set"
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Oct 16, 2013

Review My Books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for a Chance to Win $100!!!

The contest winners are:
Phyllis Dusman - $100
Carol Crumling, Bege Martin and Samantha Paskorz - receive one free book of their choice.
Thanks to all who participated.

Competing in the book market, especially in my genre—crime/mystery— is probably the most difficult. The key to success is "exposure" and one of the best ways to get that exposure is to have a high rating on Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook. The ratings range from 1 star to 5 stars and each book must be reviewed and rated separately. More reviews/ratings equal higher visibility on search engines. That, of course, results in higher book sales.
I have decided to offer an incentive to entice readers to rate my books. From October 16 until November 15, anyone who submits a review will be entered in a drawing for $100! I will also offer a choice of a hardcopy of any of my books to three other lucky winners. If you review/rate all four books on Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook, you would have 12 chances to win!
Those who have already rated my books on any of those websites will automatically be entered for each book they have reviewed/rated. If you would rather not use your full name, once you have submitted your review(s), please email me at so I can identify your review and enter you in the drawing.
For those of you who have sent me reviews via email, please review and rate my books on Amazon for the Kindle and/or Barnes & Noble for the Nook to be entered to win! If you haven't read any of my novels, it's not too late. As mentioned above, they are available on Amazon for the Kindle and Barnes & Noble for the Nook or by emailing me to purchase an autographed hardcopy.
The drawing will be on Nov. 16th and the winners will be notified on Facebook or by email.
Please note: There are links on my website at to the books for Amazon (logo with the "a") and Barnes & Noble ("BN" logo) where you can review and rate them as well as purchase them.
Thank you! -- Don Lewis

Oct 11, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

(Reposted from Oct 16, 2011)

Our great nation was born through the Declaration of Independence, to be governed by Constitutional guarantees that the freedoms listed therein would endure forever.

In the 230 plus years since then it was the exercise of those freedoms that molded our country into the greatest on earth. It’s true that “Freedom isn’t Free,” and from the time of America’s beginnings until the present day, it’s citizens have been called upon to make sacrifices, and in many cases, to risk their lives so that those freedoms could be preserved. Over those centuries thousands of American men and women have given their lives for our liberty. Today our freedom is endangered; not so much from the wars we fight, but from concerted efforts to destroy America from within.

Since the early 20th Century there have been those who would radically change our way of life. Seldom have they identified their plans as an attempt to subvert our Constitution. Nor have they identified themselves with their revolutionary scheme. They work privately and anonymously in a most insidious manner.

Over the years we have paid little attention to those who embraced the weakening and eventual destruction of American ideals, either misunderstanding their intentions or believing that eventually they would simply go away. They haven’t. They are in fact growing in numbers and in boldness.

Those of us who grew up in the 40's and 50's find the country very different from the one we knew in our youth. Almost everything has changed; many believe for the worse. We are being converted from a society dominated by doers and givers, to one of watchers and takers.

As a child growing up in Pittsburgh I learned from my mother about how to confront and deal with problems and about the difference between right and wrong. My mom was my strength and the person I turned to every day for answers to life’s problems. She sacrificed her teaching career to spend her days tending to the needs of her children and always took the time to guide us along the road to maturity. She taught us that there are no free rides, and that we must earn our way through life.

As a youth I took it all for granted. I didn’t realize the extent of her sacrifice and wisdom until I was grown and raising my own family. It was from her and my dad that I learned to cling to traditional values, and how important they were to our freedom. Bless her heart, mom lived for 99 years. I miss her a lot, and think of her every day. In all of my novels I highlight the values I learned from both of my parents.

There are those who say that to draw attention to the growing attacks on our liberties is an attempt to instill false panic. They say America is too intelligent a nation to fall into that kind of trap. That’s what the German people thought in the early 1930s and who would argue that they were not intelligent? Here in America the decline into disastrous social change has been taking its toll. While each generation’s opportunity to grow academically has increased, our educational standards have decreased. To disagree with a “politically correct” idea labels one a trouble-maker, a Nazi, a sexist or a racist. The growing inclination of the public to accept these standards is like a cancer; eventually we will simply go and do, where and what we’re told.

We are “progressively” turning from a nation of leaders to one of followers; from an independent society into one dependent upon the government. In the end the goal of the “progressives” is that we be governed without our input or consent.

We’re told now that our nation’s flag, the proud symbol of our country is something that shouldn’t be worn on our lapels, or displayed publicly. In schools we no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because it might offend someone. Might offend someone? Who the hell would have dared to spew such a shameful lack of respect for our flag and our values fifty, or even twenty years ago?

Our government was created to guarantee checks and balances, so that no one political group could force their agenda on society, yet today that is exactly what is happening.What used to matter was the will of the people; now it seems that the only thing that counts is the will of the government and now their agenda seems to be to “fundamentally transform America.” The question many now ask is “Into what?”

Our strength as a nation is our Constitution and the freedoms set forth in that document. It is the foundation of this great country. Tear the pages from the Constitution, lose the freedoms it guarantees, and we will lose our Republic.                                       

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Aug 26, 2013

If You’re Going to Fight the Damn Thing … Win It!

I was in Charleston, South Carolina, the other day and decided to stop on the way home to visit the Aircraft Carrier Yorktown CV10, a World War II combat vessel. Walking on its decks and looking at some of the actual planes flown during the war was a strange feeling, like walking back into the past, seeing things I had only heard about. I saw rows of names of Navy airmen and sailors who died for their country. I read the stories of some of them, of their bravery and commitment to defending the rest of us. They and the hundreds of thousands of other service men and women who died did so defending OUR country.
I’ve been to the Arizona in Pearl Harbor several times and it is impressive, but being on the Yorktown and seeing the old fighter planes and the bronzed faces of those pilots on the walls of the hanger-deck staring back at me gave me an increased respect for that war and for the reasons those men and women who fought it were so willing to sacrifice their lives. I realized that WWII was the last time an armed struggle was worthy of being called a “War,” and was worth that kind of sacrifice.
I’m a veteran of the Vietnam War. I wasn’t drafted; I entered the service voluntarily because of the war. I was partly motivated by the fact that I’ve been pretty much of a thrill seeker all my life; those who know me well will verify that. In 1963 I wanted to be part of the war, part of something exciting and important. I was young, and as they say, full of piss and vinegar. I wanted to be a warrior. That’s why I became a paratrooper and a Green Beret. I thought that because my government said so, fighting in Vietnam was somehow important to protecting my own country. I was wrong.
Please don’t misunderstand; I’m very proud of my service and of the men I served with in Vietnam. I believed then and now that South Vietnam was under siege from the North and that if we didn’t go to help them, they would fall to the Communists. I was one of those who thought we were there to save the world from communism, a worthwhile goal. So, my frustration, and even anger, isn’t based on our reason for entering the war; it’s founded on our refusal to win it.
We who served in Vietnam are told we lost the war. We did not lose; we were kickin’ ass the whole time. We never lost a battle during that war. We left in disgrace because those peckerwoods back in Washington, for whatever reason, decided it wasn’t a good idea to win. If the Vietnam War had been fought during WWII, it would have amounted to little more than a three-month operation. We would have shelled the North; dropped bombs on their military installations, sent in the Marines, the Paratroopers and the Infantry, and it would have been “Katy bar the door.”
What happened to America? Have we lost our stones? In World War II we faced two enemies who wanted to take over the world and if we hadn’t entered the war, probably would have. But American soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen came to the rescue. The number of Americans killed and wounded in WWII was 1,076,245, but America’s determination to win saved the world. Those losses and their sacrifices counted for something.
The loss of more than 213, 000 American men and women who were killed, wounded and missing as the result of the Vietnam War counted for nothing. Not because we chose to fight there, but because we refused to win there.
The same thing is happening now in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s American warriors are better than when I was in. They’re better trained, better equipped, and well… just plain better, but they’re not going to win those wars. We know it, they know it. Yet, we lose brave young American lives every day there because our government doesn’t have the will or the moxie to do what it takes to win.
Why did all this start in the first place? Was it because of 9-11? 9-11 wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was an act of War, and we should have gone to the country that knowingly trained and supported those killers and said, “We’ll give you three days to get everyone out of your capital city, then we’re going to bomb it into the stone age.” I know it sounds radical, but if we had done that, a lot of American lives would have been saved, and believe me, there would have been no more “terrorists” actions taken against us. Hell, Truman did it and we haven’t heard an aggressive peep out of Japan or Germany since. As it is, no American is safe in any other part of the world, and even our safety in the U.S. is only marginal. It looks to me like we’re as much at risk from our own government as we are from any foreign armies who dream about triumphantly marching through the streets of New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
History has shown us that there are three elements that will always guarantee defeat; Complacency, Concession, and a lack of Courage. Today our government is riddled with all three, and those of them who aren’t traitors are cowards.
What’s the use in being the strongest military might in the world if you’re not willing to use that strength when it becomes necessary? Wake up, boys and girls; it’s necessary NOW!
Tell your government to either crap or get off the pot!

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Jul 28, 2013

Special Forces Detachment A-214                   

     On the 7th of August I’ll be in Salt Lake City for a reunion with the surviving members of Detachment A-214, 5th Special Forces Group Airborne, who served together in Vietnam in 1964-65. Let me tell you a little about those men with whom I spent that time and with whom I share a bond that has tied us together for life.
Special Forces A-Team 214, was a group of 12 men who had trained together for several months at Fort Bragg, NC, for their mission deployment to Vietnam.
Upon their arrival in Vietnam in September of 1964 they were transported to Camp Ban Don, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands which was an abandoned French Fort close to the Cambodian border. Their mission was to interdict infiltration from North Vietnam of enemy personnel and supplies. The team’s primary job as force-multipliers was to organize and train a group of Montagnyards – hill tribesmen of the Central Highlands – into a fighting force of about 400 and lead them in combat operations. Supplies, clothing, and weapons for the Montagnyards were supplied by the U.S. Government.
Each 12 man team consists of a Captain, a Lieutenant, two Intelligence and Operations Sergeants, two medics, two demolitions specialists, two weapons specialists, and two communication specialists.
There was, at almost all times, a patrol out searching for the enemy operating in their area of operation. Those patrols typically consisted of two or three Special Forces Soldiers and between 30 and 50 Montagnyards. They were to engage the enemy when found.
I arrived in Vietnam on December 12, 1964 not knowing where I would be assigned, but figuring that being a “rookie”, having just graduated from Special Forces Training Group, I would be assigned to a support team and be sending and receiving messages all day long from and to A-Team radio operators. It was rare for a rookie to be assigned to an A-Team.
When I arrived at Special Forces HQ in Nha Trang, I ran into Sgt. Anderson, a classmate from Training Group. Andy, as we called him, asked me, “Where are you assigned?” I told him I hadn’t received my orders yet. He asked me if I would like to be assigned to an A-Team. I said that they wouldn’t send me to an A-Team on my first deployment. He said, “Follow me.”
We went to the office of a Lt. Colonel – I can’t remember his name, and Andy said to him, “Sir, Ban Don lost a radio operator and need a replacement immediately. This man (pointing to me) has a black belt in karate (I never took a single lesson in karate) and graduated first in his commo class (they didn’t rank those in the commo class; you either graduated or you didn’t). Basically he talked the Colonel into assigning me to Det. A-214 and the next day I was on a helicopter flying to my new assignment.
When I arrived at the camp I was very nervous; not because of the prospect of being in combat, I had trained for that, but about being accepted by this group of professionals. My reception was cool but polite. They weren’t happy to learn that this was my first tour in Vietnam, but they worked me into the team, and after several patrols accepted me as a team member.
It’s difficult to describe how I felt about these men. They were real live combat-tested and seasoned Green Berets, all serious men. I kept my mouth shut most of the time and did what I was told. Sgt. Pete Garner, a demolitions specialist was the first to reach out to me. Most of the patrols I went on were with Pete. I always felt confident about things when I was with him. We got along well and he was my favorite on the team. Unfortunately he’s gone now, having passed away at the young age of 61, but neither I nor anyone else who knew and worked with him will ever forget him. There is a watering hole at Fort Bragg named the Pete Garner Lounge. 
Captain Mike Mireau (pronounced Mirrow) was the team leader and his leadership abilities were solidified while we were at Camp Soui Doi, in Pleiku Province during an operation in which our team sent a motorized patrol into a place called the Mang Yang Pass where an ambush by a North Vietnamese Battalion was sprung. During the ensuing battle three Green Berets were wounded, one mortally, and the other two seriously. More than 60 Montagnyards were killed.
The man who was killed was 23-year-old Sgt. Gerry Rose from Huntington, West Virginia, a demolitions specialist. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Lieutenant Les Griggs the team XO was shot through the neck and never returned to the team. For his actions in the Pass, he received a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor in recognition of valorous acts. The Lieutenant will be with us in SLC. The third man was Sgt. Ken “Huey” Long, one of the team’s medics. His wounds were severe and were the result of being hit four times with small-arms fire in the leg, shoulder, and chest. Ken received a Purple Heart and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with a Silver Star. Ken also will be able to join us in SLC.
Captain Mireau’s calm reaction to what was going on and his immediate organization of a relief force showed the kind of leadership needed in that situation. That he was the real leader of our team was never in question and I’m happy to say that we will see our leader at the reunion.
The reunion will take place in Salt Lake City because the oldest member of our team, now in his 80s, lives there and is restricted in his travel. That man, the best soldier I ever met and our team sergeant, was Don “Hook” Strieber, a Master Sergeant and one of our two O&I operators. I haven’t seen him since March of 1965 and I can’t wait to see him again. It would take a whole new blog to list his awards and accomplishments during his career of service to this country.
Staff Sergeant Herman Adams was the Chief Radio Operator on the team, and I was the Junior Radio Operator. Herman was a pleasantly cocky, confident, and courageous man. Qualifications? This guy could build a radio out of sea shells, and was one of the most gregarious guys on the team. Though I graduated from the SFTG as a qualified communicator, S/Sgt. Adams taught me how to really be a Special Forces Radio Operator, and for that I’m very grateful.
I’m actually flying out to Arizona where he now lives and we’re driving from there up to SLC together. I’m looking forward to that also. As an aside, S/Sgt. Adams later became a Delta Force Operator and was on the aborted mission in Iran to rescue the American hostages taken and held for over a year at our Embassy there.
Lt. Griggs, S/Sgt. Adams, and I buried George Townsend, our other O&I Sergeant last year in the Sand Hills Veterans Cemetery at Fort Bragg. It was a beautiful military ceremony for a man everyone on the team loved. After four tours in Vietnam and at the end of his career he retired as a highly decorated Sergeant Major.
Sergeant First Class Charlie Scearce was a medic of the very first order and was the chief medic on the team. We were also on several  operations together. A real special guy, Charlie, as did Pete, passed away at the age of 61. I never again saw either of those men after they left Vietnam.
Sgt. Gene McCann was one of our weapons specialists. He was a fairly quiet but very efficient professional. He also passed away several years ago.
Staff Sergeant Larry Manes was the senior weapons sergeant. Prior to my arrival at Ban Don, S/Sgt Manes was chosen to transfer to Project Delta, which was created to perform very hazardous cross-border operations. It was the precursor to Delta Force. Larry lives in Hawaii but a physical condition restricts his travel. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Larry, but I do communicate with him by email. Guess I’ll just have to take a trip to Hawaii. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
The character and courage of these men will remain with me for the rest of my life. I feel privileged to have served with them and to have been made to feel one of them. They were my heroes and remain that today.
This is the first reunion we’ve had as a team, and I’m certain it will be the last time we will all be together. I expect there will be emotional moments but I also expect it to be one of the highlights of my life.

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