Debra always wanted to write a story with a military hero.
I knew a bit of how I wanted the story to go. I even wrote the opening scene in which we meet our Marine hero. And then it kind of languished. I didn't do much else with it.
Then the idea to do a series of holiday stories came to me. When I got to the Fourth of July one, my Marine was the perfect fit. There's not much of anything that's more patriotic than someone who has chosen to serve his (or her) country.
I wanted to do Tyler right. Make him the epitome of a Marine: the few, the proud. With a set of values and commitment that matched. Honorable. Strong. Brave. A warrior. A fighter. On the other hand, I didn't want him to be too alpha. Most of my heroes are an alpha/beta hybrid.
I've known a few Marines in my time, and I like to think that Tyler is a mix of all the very best of those men.
A lot of times the heroes in our stories are larger than life. In this case, there wasn't a whole lot of stretching to do. Real world military personnel do seem larger than life to me. People to honor and commend and to stand in awe of what they do and what they sacrifice. Real life heroes.
Did I get Tyler absolutely perfect? In my eyes...yes. (Then again, I do tend to think all of my heroes are pretty darn perfect...flaws and all.) Would a real life Marine agree? Maybe. Maybe not. After all, it's still a work of fiction, and some things have to be a certain way to make the story work, even if those things are 'off' a bit from reality. Tyler does come home injured, but he's probably a bit too well adjusted after having served three overseas tours of active duty in Afghanistan.
But it was an honor to write a story about a United States Marine. And everything he stands for.
Until next time,