Many of us take advantage of technology, like typing on a laptop. But of the more than 50,000 troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them lost the ability to use their hands. A Walton County author is working to change that for veterans. Jaspar's War is about a woman fighting to save her children after they were abducted and her husband was killed, but the author is not making a dime off the book, instead he's donating all of the profits.
"When I served in Vietnam, if people got injured, they basically died because you couldn't get them out soon enough. Today, these veterans are back in the United States within 24 hours and going to the hospitals they need to go to. There's lot of people today that have injuries that are different than the injuries people survived with before", said Cym Lowell, the author of Jaspar's War. But sometimes those injuries alter ones lifestyle. "Sometimes the hands are shot off, burned off, or often times it's PTSD or other mental injuries, where the brain no longer communicates with the hands."
Lowell lives in Rosemary Beach, he's an international tax attorney by day and also has a passion for writing. He says his time in Vietnam taught him many valuable lessons. "What I learned out of that is well I could probably be anything, if I put my mind to it and take one step at a time." And so he did, he wrote a fictional novel and found an organization making a very real difference to wounded veterans.
"As I worked with the people at Soldiers' Angels and started to understand the reality, I decided I don't need to contribute ten or twenty percent, I need to contribute everything", said Lowell, who adds if the book becomes a movie, he'll continue to donate every penny. "An inability to communicate, I can understand that, I can imagine in today's world to come back as a hero defending the country and defending all of our honor, and I'm stuck at home and I can't communicate." Which led Lowell to set a goal. "So far, we've awarded ten computers out of 200, and my dream is to liquidate that back log of 200 and provide funds so there's a reserve there for veterans of future conflicts."
And when I asked how it made him feel to help these vets, "that's a good question, I don't have the words to answer that question." He is just happy to help. "I don't need, I don't want it, I want to serve", said Lowell.