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Saturday, March 10, 2012

On the Business of Writing

How to Write It
Second Edition
Subtitle: A complete guide to everything you’ll ever write
By Sandra E. Lamb
Ten Speed Press (2011)
ISBN: 9781607740322
Nonfiction/How-To (Writing)
Publisher's Site:

The Business Part of Writing Any Genre

Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of This Is the Place and Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered, Tracings, a chapbook of poetry and the How To Do It Frugally Series of book for authors

I wasn’t impressed by the title of How to Write It! It’s so general. And the subtitle? So all inclusive!  How could it be a guide to everything you’ll ever write?  And, truth be told, it isn’t. Not if you are a write of fiction. Or a poet. But even if you write those things, stop! Don’t go away. You’ll find in this book much that you need to know to build a successful writing career no matter what you write. And that was probably the intent of Author Sandra E. Lamb. She wants your writing career to soar. And this book will give you the tools to make sure it does.  At least the tools outside the box that might be labeled “craft.”

And here’s one more aspect of this very fat, very thorough volume. It has much in it that many books for writers don’t cover. I’m not sure why. Maybe “proposals and reports” and “orders, credit and collections” don’t have the sizzle that that creative hearts yearn for, but those hearts need to manage their careers, too.

So, don’t go off in a snit.  This book is an absolute must for freelance writers, but it is a darn good reference for writers of any ilk, especially those who don’t have a lot of business experience in those lives we often lead apart from our writing lives.  Hooray for Ten Speed Press for bringing this to our attention.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s first novel, This is the Place, has won eight awards.
Her book of creative nonfiction Harkening, won three. A UCLA Writers' Program
instructor, she also is the author of another book essential for writers,
USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't. ( The second in the HowToDoItFrugally series, The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success ( covers writing successful query letters and includes helpful hints from twenty of the nation's top agents. Learn more about Howard-Johnson at her new site

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Military Writers Society of America Announces 2011 Book Award Winners

The Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) announces the winners of its 2011 book awards. The MWSA book awards recognize outstanding military-themed books in a wide range of categories from children to adult. The categories include fiction, non-fiction, spiritual/religious, individual service branches, poetry, business/how to, and others. Entries included books published by traditional, subsidy, self-published, and e-book formats.

Three authors received special recognition. Mike "Moon" Mullins received the 2011 Founder’s Award, the society’s highest honor, for Out of the Mist: Memories of War. Leila Levinson received the 2011 President’s Award for her book Gated Grief. Jack Woodville London is the first recipient of the organization’s new Author of the Year Award. London received the 2011 Author of the Year Award for his book French Letters. The William E. Mayer Award for Literary or Artistic Excellence went to Bonnie Bartel Latino for Christmas Whistles (Gold) and Jim Greenwald for False Honor (Silver).

In addition, Donald Farinacci was the winner of the Korean War Book Award for his history, Truman and MacArthur. MWSA, together with the Center for the Study of the Korean War, Our History Project, and Positively Pittsburg Live, was a co-sponsor of this special book award, which included a cash prize of $150, designed to raise awareness of the conflict known as the "Forgotten War."

"Out of the Mist was a labor of love," Mike Mullins said. "The men who let me interview them just blessed me. When I wrote it, I never thought about anything except preserving their history. I never thought what might come of it; it’s wonderful."

"This is the best day I’ve had since Gated Grief was published," Leila Levinson said. "I am really just humbled, and thrilled."

"I am absolutely stunned to be named Author of the Year," Jack W. London said. "I can’t think of a more flattering award. I did not see this coming at all."

"The annual Awards program is MWSA’s most important and exciting function. We focus on content, style, visual, and technique. Each year, more active military, veteran, and historians submit their work. Each year, the competition is more intense," says Joyce Faulkner, President of Military Writers Society of America, "and 2011 is no exception."

The Military Writers Society of America is an association of more than 800 authors, poets, artists, and photographers whose core principle is a love of the men and women who defend this nation, and an understanding and respect of their sacrifice and dedication.

MWSA 2011 Award Winners
Founder’s Award

Out of the Mist: Memories of War
by Mike "Moon" Mullins

 President’s AwardGated Grief
by Leila Levinson

 Author of the Year 2011French Letters: Engaged in War
by Jack Woodville London

 Korean War Book AwardGold Medal: Truman & MacArthur by Donald Farinacci
Silver Medal: War Remains
by Jeffrey Miller
Bronze Medal: The Untold Experiences
by C. Gilbert Lowery
Honorable Mention: Eddie & Bingo
by Kathleen & Katherine Taylor
1st Runner Up: Chitose Road
by Robert S. Ruehrdanz

 William E. Mayer Award for Literary or Artistic ExcellenceGold Medal: Bonnie Bartel Latino for Christmas Whistles
Silver Medal:
Jim Greenwald for False Honor

Historical Fiction/Event
Gold Medal: Victory Road
by Mark Bowlin
Silver Medal: David & the Mighty Eight
by Marjorie Hodgson Parker
Bronze Medal: Once a Knight
by Walt Shiel
Honorable Mention: Beyond Those Hills
by M.H.A. Menondji
1st Runner Up The Corydon Snow
by Richard Whitten Barnes
2nd Runner Up Look Long Into the Abyss
by A.R. Homer

Historical Fiction/Chronicle
Gold Medal: Shall Never See So Much
by Gerald Gillis

Historical Fiction/Protagonist
Gold Medal: For Love of Country
by William C. Hammond

Gold Medal: Laos File
by Dale A. Dye
Silver Medal; Loose Ends Kill
by Bob Doerr
Bronze Medal: I Know Why the Dogwoods
Blush by Bill Cain

Gold Medal: The Mullahs Storm
by Thomas W. Young
Silver Medal: Pirates & Cartels
by Lee & Vista Boyland
Bronze Medal: Project Dragonslayers
by Kathy Rowe

Gold Medal: War Remains
by Jeffrey Miller
Silver Medal: The Book in the Wall
by John F. Simpson

Gold Medal: Keeping the Promise
by Donna Elliott
Silver Medal: Lost Eagles
by Blaine L. Pardue
Bronze Medal: American Guerilla
by Mike Guardia
Honorable Mention: T-41 Mescalero: The Military Cessna 172
by Walt Shiel
1st Runner Up Eisenhower & Montgomery
by William Weidner
2nd Runner Up Targeted Killing
by Thomas B. Hunter

Gold Medal: DAI Uy Hoch
by David R. Hoch
Silver Medal: Lullabies for Lieutenants
by Franklin Cox
Bronze Medal: Wing Wife
by Marcia J. Sargent
Honorable Mention: We Came to Fight a War
by Jack Flynn & Alvin E. Kotler
1st Runner Up: Life Interrupted by War
by Thomas van Hees
2nd Runner Up: Earning My Wings
by Shirley Dobbins Forgan

Gold Medal: Aerial Aces of the Universal Newsreel
by Philip W. Stewart

Gold Medal: Women in the U.S. Armed Forces
by Darlene M. Iskra
Silver Medal: Grey Eminence
by Edward Cox
Bronze Medal: Beyond All Price
by Carolyn Poling Schriber
Honorable Mention: True Blue: A Tale of the Enemy Within
by Joe Sanchez & MoDhania

Non-Fiction/How To/Business
Gold Medal: Disability Compensation
by Thomas van Hees
Silver Medal: Breastfeeding in Combat Boots
by Robyn Roche-Paul

Non-Fiction/Creative Non-Fiction
Gold Medal: Incoming by Jack Manick
Silver Medal: Inside the President’s Helicopter
by G.T. Boyd and J. Boor

Gold Medal: A Prayer Journey through Deployment
by Donna Mull
Silver Medal: I Want to be the Fat Pretty One
by Lori Kathleen Cline
Bronze Medal: Bringing Courage to the Courageous
by Don Williamson
Honorable Mention: God + Military Spouse
by Lori Kathleen

Gold Medal: USAF Interceptors
by Mary Isham & D. McLaren

Gold Medal:
Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion by Billy Tucci

Gold Medal: Kings of the Green Jelly Moon
by King, Greenwald, Jellerson, Mullins
Silver Medal: Blooming Red
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson & Magdelina Ball
Bronze Medal: Through the Years
by James Jellerson

 Children/Ages 12 & BelowGold Medal: Klinger by Betsy Beard
Silver Medal: Our Daddy is Invincible
by Shannon Maxwell
Bronze Medal: The Sandpiper's Game
by Charles Boyle
Honorable Mention: Eddie & Bingo: A Friendship Tale
by Katherine & Kathleen L. Taylor
1st Runner Up: The Adventures of Briskey Bear
by Steve Bolt

Military/Air Force
Gold Medal: Two Gold Coins and a Prayer
by James H. Keeffe lll
Silver Medal: Safe Landings
by Fran McGraw
Bronze Medal: The Men Who Killed the Luftwaffe
by Jay A. Stout
Honorable Mention: Belle of the Brawl
by Gary A. Best

Gold Medal: Alan's Letters
by Nancy E. Rial
Silver Medal: Still Standing
by Jim Kosmo
Bronze Medal: The Sentinel & the Shooter
by Douglas W. Bonnot

Gold Medal: Obediently Yours, Orson Welles
by Ulman Bray

Gold Medal: The Seventh Angel
by Jeff Edwards
Silver Medal: Listening to Ghosts
by Robert (Bob) Stockton
Bronze Medal: The Untold Experiences
by C. Gilbert Lowery

Military/Coast Guard
Gold Medal: The Coast Guard
by Tom Beard

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Promotion: It Is Never Too Early or Too Late

Book Sales Getting Musty?

Note: MWSA member Carolyn Howard-Johnson celebrates the release of the second edition of the multi award-winning Frugal Book Promoter ( with this excerpt and a little rundown of what readers will find in the new edition that weren’t in the old one.

In the world of publishing as in life, persistence counts. Of course, there is no way to keep a book at the top of the charts forever, but if you keep reviving it, you might hold a classic in your hands. Or your marketing efforts for one book may propel your next one to greater heights.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen authors who measure their success by book sales give up on their book (and sometimes on writing) just about the time their careers are about ready to take off. I tell my students and clients to fight the it’s-too-late-urge.

Publicity is like the little waves you make when you toss pebbles into a lake. The waves travel, travel, travel and eventually come back to you. If you stop lobbing little stones, you lose momentum. It’s never too late and it’s never too early to promote. Rearrange your thinking. Marketing isn’t about a single book. It’s about building a career. And new books can build on the momentum created by an earlier book, if you keep the faith. Review the marketing ideas in this book, rearrange your schedule and priorities a bit, and keep at it.

Here are a few keep-at-it ideas.

  • Run a contest on your Web site, on Twitter, or in your newsletter. Use your books for prizes or get cross-promotion benefits by asking other authors for books; many will donate one to you in trade for the exposure. Watch the 99 Cent Stores for suitable favors to go with them. 

Hint: Any promotion you do including a contest is more powerful when you call on your friends to tell their blog visitors or Facebook pals about it.

  • Barter your books or your services for exposure on other authors’ Web sites.
  • Post your flier, brochure, or business card on bulletin boards everywhere: In grocery stores, coffee shops, Laundromats, car washes, and bookstores.
  • Offer classes in writing to your local high school, college, or library system. Publicizing them is easy and free. When appropriate, use your own book as suggested reading. The organization you are helping will pitch in by promoting your class. The network you build with them and your students is invaluable. Use this experience in your media kit to show you have teaching and presentation skills.
  • Slip automailers into each book you sell or give away for publicity. Automailers are envelopes that are pre-stamped, ready to go. Your auto mailer asks the recipient to recommend your book to someone else. Your mailer includes a brief synopsis of your book, a picture of the cover of your book, your book’s ISBN, ordering information, a couple of your most powerful blurbs, and a space for the reader to add her handwritten, personal recommendation. Make it clear in the directions that the reader should fill out the form, address the envelope, and mail it to a friend. You may offer a free gift for helping out, but don’t make getting the freebie too tough. Proof-of-purchase type schemes discourage your audience from participating.
  • Send notes to your friends and readers asking them to recommend your book to others. Or offer them a perk like free shipping, gift wrap, or small gift if they purchase your book for a friend. That’s an ideal way to use those contact lists you’ve been building.
  • While you’re working on the suggestion above, put on your thinking cap. What directories have you neglected to incorporate into your contact list? Have you joined any new groups since your book was published? Did you ask your grown children for lists of their friends? Did you include lists of old classmates?
  • Though it may be a bit more expensive than some ideas in this book, learn more about Google’s AdWords and AdSense. Learn about these opportunities on your Google account page. Many authors of niche nonfiction or fiction that can be identified with often-searched-for keywords find this advertising program effective.
  • Check out ad programs like Amazon’s Vine review service. You agree to provide a certain number of books to Amazon and pay them a fee for the service. Amazon arranges the reviews for you. It’s expensive, but it gets your book exposed to Amazon’s select cadre of reviewers who not only write reviews for your Amazon sales page but also may start (or restart!) a buzz about your book.
  • Some of your reviews (both others’ reviews of your book and reviews you’ve written about others’ books) have begun to age from disuse. Start posting them (with permission from the reviewer) on Web sites that allow you to do so. Check the guidelines for my free review service blog at
  • Connect and reconnect. Start reading blogs and newsletters you once subscribed to again. Subscribe to a new one. Join a writers’ group or organization related to the subject of your book.
  • Record a playful message about your book on your answering machine.
  • When you ship signed copies of your book, include a coupon for the purchase of another copy for a friend—signed and dedicated—or for one of your other books. Some distributors insert fliers or coupons into your books when they ship them for a fee.
  • Adjust the idea above to a cross-promotional effort with a friend who writes in the same genre as you. He puts a coupon for your book in his shipments; you do the same for him in yours.
  • Explore the opportunities for speaking on cruise ships. Many have cut back on the number of speakers they use, but your area of expertise may be perfect for one of them. I tried it, but found ship politics a drawback. Still many authors like Allyn Evans who holds top honors in Toastmasters and Erica Miner have used these venues successfully. For help with the application process from beginning to end, contact Daniel Hall at

We all know that book promotion (and life!) has changed since The Frugal Book Promoter was first published
in 2004—particularly in ways that have to do with the Web, but in other ways, too. As an
example, the publishing world in general is more open to indie publishing now than it was then. So, this new edition is
updated but it also includes lots of information on ways to promote that were not around
or were in their
infancy a few short years ago. So here is what is new:
~The Second Edition has been reorganized.
~The Second Edition is almost twice as fat—read that “twice as chock full of promotions you can use.”
~The Second Edition still includes the basics that make you into an on-your-own publicist or a great partner
for a professional publicist. That includes everything you need to know to put together the best,
most effective media releases, query letters, and media kits possible. And how to utilize what you love to do
most—write—to get the word out about what you love most—your book. If you loved the chapters

like the ones on writers’ conferences, getting reviews, book fairs or tradeshows, you’ll love the
updated ones even more.
~You’ll love the chapters on what I call the game changers. These really are game changers!
There’s information on using online bookstores to your benefit. There's information on how to make
your blog actually work for you! And how to save time with your blogging! And ideas for blog posts
—even if you write fiction or poetry!
~There is new information that answers questions like these:

§ What is Carolyn’s simplified method for making social networks actually work—without spending too much time away from my writing?
§ How can I avoid falling into some of the scam-traps for authors?
§ How can I get into one of those big tradeshows like BEA?
§ What are the best “old-fashioned” ways to promote—the ones I shouldn’t give up on entirely?
§ There is even an updated section on how you go about writing (and publishing)
an award-worthy book. And, of course, you’ll find it loaded with resources you can use—but they’re all updated.
§ How can I use the new QR codes to promote my book to mobile users? And to others?
§ What are the pitfalls of using the Web and how can I avoid them?
§ What are the backdoor methods of getting reviews—even long after my book
has been published?

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Compulsive Reader Webmaster Recommends Expanded Edition of Book Promoter

The Frugal Book Promoter: Second Edition: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher.

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

The Frugal Book Promoter
How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering
Second Edition: with your publisher
by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Paperback: 416 pages, August 25, 2011,
ISBN-13: 978-1463743291
Also available for Kindle

It doesn't matter how many books you've published. Self-published or traditionally published, gaining publicity is always tricky, always critical, and always a moving target. If your budget is limited, it's even harder, and perhaps, even more imperative. Enter Carolyn Howard-Johnson, the queen of frugal promotion. Her frugal books are pitched at the modern writer: time poor, financially parsimonious, and publicity hungry. The Frugal Book Promoter is the jewel in the crown. As with the first version, The Frugal Book Promoter is full of ideas, strategies, and tips for promoting your book cheaply, in innovative and effective ways, but it has been updated with a much greater focus on new technologies, the all-important social networks, and a range of strategies designed to help authors with less commercial offerings such as poetry and fiction.

Of course the book is rich with classic techniques too, such as media releases, query letters, and a whole fantastic chapter pulling together a media kit. There's information on using bylines, writing a biography, obtaining endorsements and blurbs, distribution of releases, obtaining reviews, tradeshows, book fairs, setting up a website, and many more 'must-do' items that have really become part and parcel of any author's promotional toolkit. Ignore this kind of stuff and unless you win some kind of book lotto, your book will almost certainly fall into the obscurity that is an ever-present risk of modern authordom. What I like best about Howard-Johnson's book is the simple, informal prose which is both warmly reassuring ('of course you can do this'), and deceptively intelligent. The reader is encouraged and reminded of his or her own innate capabilities even as they're goaded onto to raising the bar:

You’ve been practicing PR most of your life. Getting along with family. Impressing a new boss. You’ve been a customer and know why you like some products and businesses better than others. All it takes is some examination of the processes that influence you to get a grip on public relations—even on marketing as a whole.

The new version also contains a chapter on some of the most current topics, including information on blogging, working Amazon, using social networks, and even some common pitfalls to avoid in blogging and networking. Howard-Johnson totally practices what she preaches, so her advice comes directly from her many years of experience, and is rich with innovative ideas to minimise the time involved and maximise the input through such things as integration and cross-linking, clever use of soundbites and re-tweetable tweets, setting up a "Quotable Quotes” page on your Web site (I love that one), using RSS, and many other novel ideas. Throughout the book there are links, anecdotes, worked examples, and excellent templates including queries, a sample media release, blog entries, invitations, and even a tip sheet.

No, you don't really need a copy of The Frugal Book Promoter. You could hire a publicist for $100 an hour, or organise a retainer for anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000. But if you're looking to do your own publicity, or to augment your publishers and don't have the kind of budget that can support a publicist, or you simply want to do the legwork, connect with your reading public, and do your best to ensure that your wonderful work of art reaches a maximum audience, then this book is really the self-promoter's bible. You don't have to read it cover to cover, although it's certainly accessible and enjoyable enough to do so. The book is well-referenced and perfectly designed to enable the frugal author to dip in once a week and pull out a new publicity idea to try, or to use as a reference when it's time to pull together a marketing plan for your book, or at that moment when you need to write a press-release and want a template and guide, when you're looking for ideas to maximise your book signing. Whatever kind of promotions you want to do for your book, you're sure to find it in The Frugal Book Promoter. Howard-Johnson makes it all sound simple, and provides such easy instructions, that you'll want to go out straightaway and get to it. Put simply, The Frugal Book Promoter is the best guide around for create interesting, fresh, inexpensive, and relatively easy promotion for your book, whatever the genre.
~Magdalena Ball runs the popular review site Compulsive Reader and is an award-winning author and poet in her own right.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

We're All In This Together

Just a reminder that the MWSA Awards are on a roll and we have a release that all member--not just the nominees!-- can use in their newsletters, on their blogs, on their Web sites, etc.  You can also mention them with links, etc. on Facebook and Twitter.

Here's the link to get the whole release:

But as a reminder, as with any release, you aren't required to use the whole thing. You can use it as a resource for an essay, a rant, or whatever.  Use links to the award page to help authors, etc.  In other words, releases are resources, not necessarily articles that must be used in their entirety and credited. (-:

Your MWSA Blog Captain and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Joyce White Reviews Book for Father's Day

Here is a review of member Carolyn Howard-Johnson's chapbook of poetry. It is fitting because it's the Father's Day edition in the Celebration Series she wrote with Magdalena Ball.  Reviewer Joyce White also chose to highlight the military aspects of this book so, yay, MWSA!

( Hint: MWSA members will fin a wonderful new reviewer at the bottom of this post!)

Here is the review:

"Together they swam through a remembered past."

Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions [Paperback]

Find all the books, read about the author, and mor
Carolyn Howard-Johnson and Magdalena Ball have woven their Imagining the Future: Ruminations on Fathers and Other Masculine Apparitions (Volume 1) on March 22, 2010, together like sisters of the same mind when it comes to the men in their lives. Carolyn begins her medley of childhood memories beginning with “All the sound in the world sucked to a waving wailing note as I perch on my father’s knee.” Later giftedly pondering, “The things I didn’t know about my father, his coming and goings, the fearing he would not return. One day, only a dawn or decade ago, he didn’t.”
“Then, then!” writes Carolyn, “Decades of dread (conflicts?) with names we remember and some we don't. Bosnia, Kosovo, First (!) Gulf War, Korean, Bay of Pigs, Rwanda,
Afghanistan, the Berlin Crisis for god's sake. More than 300 of them, words like the bass beat of drums. Vietnam when those troops who did come home couldn't walk or wouldn't talk. I tell my grandson, then only 12, how we who remember the grunt of that war see it differently from those who marched in the Double W Wars, wars when we wanted to be there.”
Carolyn Howard-Johnson's grandson served two tours in Iraq. Her husband is a retired Army officer who served in the 1960s Berlin call up. I can hear the sober sounds of the National Anthem in the background of all her poetry, with the throat voice of Uncle Sam warning, “I want him. He’s mine. You can’t have him!” All wives and little girls cry.
Magdalena pulls metaphors out of the air with, “You recede a little more. I reach for you over thought waves little girl’s hand hung in the air your absence, finally, matches reality to imagination trying to get truth from pretty metaphors that can’t touch your flesh still young somewhere while the precious science you drank like fine wine grinds your atoms to dust.”
Carolyn Howard Johnson and Magdalena Ball have written a wonderful little memoir celebrating Father’s Day and all their sacrifices as girls and women growing up in the 50’s and together they swam through a remembered past. I recommend this little gem and I give it Five Stars for Amazon. Happy Father’s Day to all…wives, children and our husbands who take care of our very basic needs while we write poetry.
By Joyce White
Sculpting the Heart Book Reviews

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Answer Plus Some to a Jeopardy Question

I usually hesitate to run something in full because of copyright law, but the author of this viral e-mail appears to give permission to do so in the last sentence of his post. I think it was about 1962 or 63 I saw this ceremony. It is impressive, even when one doesn't know the details.

Did you know this?
On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was "How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns" ---- All three missed it --

This is really an awesome sight to watch if you've never had the chance.Very fascinating.

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps: It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which is

the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?
His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time

and, if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes,

twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be

between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30.

They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the

rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way..

After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on

their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only

400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their

lives or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery . A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are:

President Taft,

Joe Lewis {the boxer}

Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most

decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm.. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the
hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They  respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

I don't usually suggest that many emails be forwarded, but I'd be very proud if this one reached as many as possible. We can be very proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve.

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