Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bryan Anderson: A Real Life Hero

UPDATE: The winner of the Real Life Hero Contest is traveler!!!! Congrats!!! Please email your physical addy to contests(AT)

During Deidre's research for the Gods of Midnight e-novella, RED BLOODED, featuring blind Iraq veteran Dillon Fox, she stumbled upon the story of real life hero, Bryan Anderson. In 2005, Bryan lost three of this limbs in a IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attack. The soldier now has a flourishing public speaking career and has appeared on television and in the movies. Currently, he's working on writing a book about his experience.

**Don’t forget to check out the Real Life Hero Contest! Win up to 15 TKA books featuring real and fictional heroes! Details below.**

In the world of romance writing, heroes can morph into werewolves, glamour unwitting victims with their sparkly skin and battle nefarious dukes in dawn-lit sword fights. But, with the turn of the final page, reality comes calling. Though the castle in the Scottish highlands might not have translated to suburbia and shapeshifters aren’t shopping at the local Wal-mart, there is something both the world of romance and the real world possess – heroes. One of those real life heroes is Iraq War veteran
Bryan Anderson, a triple amputee and Purple Heart recipient who is working on adding the title of “author” to his resume.

Bryan’s story begins in his hometown of Rolling Meadows, Ill. As a teenager, he was a gymnast competing at the state level and excelled academically. He went on to work as Ground Crew Chief at O’Hare airport for American Airlines before enlisting in the Army. It was during his second tour of duty in October 2005 that an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) caused a catastrophic injury, severing both his legs and left hand.

After returning from Iraq, the soldier spent 13 months undergoing more than 40 surgeries. As he recovered, his mind was on more than just figuring out how to walk again. “I wanted to figure out what I could and could not do, and in doing that – I figured out there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot that I can’t do,” he says. “I mean, I can still climb trees if I want to.”

True to his word, Bryan can still climb trees along with a whole other host of activities many full-bodied people—as Bryan calls them—find daunting, including; snowboarding, wakeboarding, driving race cars, rock climbing and riding a bicycle 110 miles using hand cranks.

As the national spokesman for Quantum Rehab, a division of Pride Mobility Corp., Bryan travels the country to deliver his message of perseverance and self determination. Last year, Bryan made over 35 appearances at various rehab centers and events. He’s also managed to add a budding acting career to his busy schedule. His credits include the CSI: NY episode, “DOA for a DAY,” and an appearance in the Golden Globe award-winning film, The Wrestler. He was also immortalized in his own Marvel comic book, featured in Esquire Magazine twice, including a cover story, and was one of ten soldiers profiled on the HBO special, Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq.

Bryan relishes life, and greets each new day as a gift, and a challenge. He receives emails from people all over the world who have been moved by his story. It’s his desire to continue to inspire people to live to their fullest potential that led him to finally putting his story in printed form. “I hope that the kind of message [I send] is just because something happens doesn’t mean life is over,” he says. “I hope by [giving my all] that people can take something from that and apply it to their own life.”

So, though Bryan doesn’t grow fangs and avoid sunlight at all costs, he does have something important in common with his romance hero counterparts. He makes the impossible possible. He pledged to safeguard his country, and in carrying out that promise survived and thrived through an injury that would have easily devastated many for life. Though we will always love our Alpha heroes and hold fast to our dog-eared Quinns, Showalters, Roberts, Wards and Coles – a real life hero like Bryan shows us how to create magic in our everyday lives.

Message from TKA: We are sponsoring a “Real Life Hero” contest on both this blog and
TKA's blog. In the comments*, tell us about a real life hero who has inspired you, and we will enter you in a mega-book giveaway, including up to 15 books featuring both real and fictional heroes. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced Friday morning, May 21st.
*You can leave your comment here on Deidre's blog or on The Knight Agency blog, and it will be counted in the contest. The winner's name will be posted on both the Deidre Knight and Knight Agency blogs.


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