These are my Rules of Engagement for the up coming Epic Veteran Writers Battle.
Rip off: I am not ashamed to say that I am ripping off this idea from the ‘epic rap battle’ concept. Since I am not doing rap battles, I am really just using this as a template for battling veteran authors.
A Thing? Battling veteran authors is not a thing, but I am trying to make this a thing. I will be most flattered if I am copied. Better copied then ignored.
Veteran Writers Battle Rating Criteria:
Veteran status: Have to be a veteran. No ‘almosts’, but medically unfit. Served or not served. Yes or no. Easy as that! No complex wire diagrams or flow charts or worse yet a: power point presentation, to determine veteran status. Next I dig into what type of service: combat versus no combat. Fighter versus not so much a fighter. Supply guys might not like that. Full disclosure, I am a supply guy who did a civil affairs deployment and was an embedded trainer with the Iraqi Army for my second deployment. Cool stuff right? but not a fighter; also did two logistics type deployments[sad face here!!]. Also excluded are embedded journalists, such as Dave Finkle, Evan Wright and Sebastian Junger- who is far more the man and writer I could ever be, but not a veteran.
Writer: Writing had to be a critical part of their life, maybe not their profession, but certainly their vocation. The authors could not be hack writers or hobbyist such as myself. A one-off memoir does not make the list either. Regrets to Nathan Fick, loved his book and recommended read: “One Bullet Away”.
Awards: Both military and civilian, yes, awards help with the evaluation as does financial success.
Personal Bias: Does anyone really believe in pure objectivity? I will be upfront and say ‘yes, you are damn right I was not objective!’
The Competitors: I selected well known authors that may or may not have been know as veterans. For some the list might be surprising. I admit, I knew the Team America authors were all veterans, but Team Europe‘s British authors were a surprise. I thought George Orwell was a socialist pacifist and JRR Tolkein, the author of “The Hobbit” just a brilliant creative mind. I was mistaken, both served- Orwell during the Spanish Civil War and Tolkein served in the British military.
More to follow- The Brackets: Team US vs Team Europe.