It is a privilege to edit an LET article from someone whom I used to cite as an expert in the papers I wrote in graduate school.  Lt. Dan Marcou, noted conference speaker, trainer, and retired SWAT commander, is an expert in the Active Shooter and Crowd Control.  Lt. Dan developed the concept of the Five Stages of the Active Shooter and has won awards for his response to Active Shooter incidents.  Lt. Dan is a “cop’s cop” and all LEOs can learn from his wisdom and courage and the valor with which he served his department.  One of the delights of Dan’s books is the accuracy and authenticity with which he writes about the world of law enforcement officers.  Anne E. Bremer, MCJ, LET Managing Editor

Destiny of Heroes

This is my first novel since The Calling, trilogy. It is a story of courage, honor, love and tenacity in the face of adversity. It is the story of two warriors. One is a killer traveling a path toward infamy and the other a protector on a path toward his destiny… the Destiny of Heroes.

The novel, Destiny of Heroes, was initially inspired by these biased words. “I discourage returning soldiers from pursuing a career in law enforcement. I believe they would have to be so damaged by war they would possess a tendency to become hyper-vigilant.” These are the paraphrased words uttered by an unnamed guidance counselor.

The counselor who spoke these words truly believed that if a young man or woman went off to war with a dream of someday becoming a police officer, that dream should go unfulfilled. She concluded they all must be ruined for that career after experiencing war.

As a long-time police trainer, I have met many combat veterans who have excelled as police officers. Therefore I was actually angered by the cruel ignorance those words displayed. From out of the suppressed anger, triggered by that misguided guidance counselor, arose the story of John Savage.

The Story

John Savage turns down an offer for a job as a police officer after he is inspired to enlist by the events of 9-11. In 2003, while serving as an Airborne Ranger, his unit is ambushed in Iraq. During this ambush he comes face to face with a soldier wearing the uniform of Saddam’s vaunted Republican Guard. By chance both escape the encounter alive and John later discovers he had one of Al Qaeda’s most deadly killers in his sights. The face of the man John failed to kill was in the deck of cards issued to soldiers, which were emblazoned with the names and faces of wanted war criminals. This Al Qaeda leader was “The Queen of Hearts.”

John Savage returns to the United States and becomes a police officer in the Midwest. John proves to be an innocent victim’s most ardent protector and the dangerous criminal’s worst nightmare. As so many sheep dogs before him that have skills that are far beyond the threshold of “good” he is misunderstood.

The Queen of Hearts also comes to the United States on a mission to strike a devastating blow to “the Great Satan.” After John is involved in a series of high profile police shootings, “The Queen of Hearts,” stalks him and attempts to seek revenge on his old nemesis for the death of his comrades in Iraq. He fails. John reports the attempt on his life of by the terrorist he met on the battlefield of Iraq and many people around him, including the woman he loves, are convinced he is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They do not believe him.

One person believes him, however. That person is an FBI Agent Charles Martel, who is assigned to find the Queen of Hearts. Martel enlists John’s aid not only because he is the only person in the country that knows what the Queen of Hearts looks like, but also because of his extraordinary skills. The relentless pursuit begins.

The Name John Savage

Some might think I chose the name Savage because of the fact that the public so often fails to recognize the difference between the violence of action taken in their defense and the violence perpetrated by criminals against the innocent. To the public it is all savage. This would be only partially correct.

In reality I have chosen the name Savage to pay homage to veterans who have fought and died as well as those who have fought and lived. The name Savage commemorates:

  1. Corporal Murray Savage, who was the best friend of Corporal Alvin York. After Murray was killed, Alvin York turned from contentious objector to warrior in an instant and the rest is history.
  1. Sergeant Ernie Savage, who was a soldier in the battle of Ia Drang. He took over command of his platoon, after other ranking commanders were killed.  The platoon was cut off, surrounded, and badly outnumbered. In spite of the odds being against it, Savage led his troops expertly and they were able to fight their way back home.

Savage therefore is the name of one soldier who fought and lived as well as the name of one who fought and died.  This seems a fitting choice for a character in a book dedicated to those who have died as well as to “the men and women who fought beside them and continue to courageously risk all by going once more into the breach.”

Order Destiny of Heroes at the link below – it would make a fitting holiday present for a law enforcement or military service member.