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Welcome to the Always Forward Series

Cover for Always Forward. A woman's arm is tatooed with the words Always Forward set in a desert.


Milk. All I want is milk. Fresh cold milk. It's funny how that's what I think about. I can't remember the last time I had anything to drink. I try to keep track of the days and nights in here. It's hard. I only see daylight through a small crack in the hatch. I have no idea where I am or who else is here with me. I heard voices for a while, but not for what has to be at least a day or two.

All I know is I am in a hole in the ground with a hole to pee and shit in. I still can't remember what happened.

The burns on my legs are beginning to stink. Maggots are in the wound on my left leg. I picked out the shrapnel, but I have nothing to keep the maggots out. I guess they are the closest thing I have to antibiotics. The blood on my head finally slowed down and has stopped dripping to my eyes. I don't dare touch my forehead because I fear how bad the wound may be. I know head injuries tend to bleed more, but this feels worse than just a flesh wound.

I go through the list of names of the guys in my truck; Rodriguez, Simmons, and Grant. I call out for them again. "Rodriguez, Simmons, Grant!" This becomes the chant I repeatedly repeat until I am so tired and thirsty that I shut my eyes again and try not to pass out.

'God, a glass of milk is all I want right now,' I silently thought.

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Chapter Fourteen ~ Emily

I feel the cold dirt under my cheeks, and I stretch out my left arm to probe into the darkness. The darkness is like a dark cloud shrouding my eyes, and I have no idea where they have taken me. I open my mouth to cry out, but my throat is so dry. I close it and try to swallow, but there is no saliva in my mouth to coat my throat. My right arm is tucked under me, and when I try to move, there is a searing pain that shoots out from my right shoulder and travels up and down the entire right side of my body. The pain is what gets my vocal cords working. I scream a hoarse cry, fueled by the pain. After a while, the pain subsides, and I try again to make my body move, but the pain completely paralyzes me. This time though, not only is there a stabbing pain moving up and down my right side, but my head begins to throb something fierce. I pull my left arm back in and rub my forehead, and that's when it all begins to come back to me. I can stick three fingers width into the gash. God, that's not good. I press my right cheek against the cold dirt floor again. It gives some relief from the pain in my head. I try to force myself to stay awake, but I can feel my eyes begging to close again. All I can hope for is that I don't wake back up.

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Carry On is the third novella in the Always Forward series. 

Sergeant Emily Sanders survived fifteen years as a prisoner of war. Emily lost those fifteen years of raising her daughters, who are now adults. Will she be able to be the mother they need?

 Josh, her husband, has moved on, and Josh is now at a crossroads to decide whether or not he should remain with Dina or divorce her to prove to Emily that she is his one true soul mate.

Now that she is safe in the United States, she faces new physical and mental recovery battles. Can she learn how to live her life in the present, while facing the demons of her past?


Will her family understand how to cope with living with a sexual assault survivor? And can Emily push past the survivor’s guilt that she came back to life, even though soldiers close to her died while she was missing? Only Emily can determine if she will be able to carry on with her life.

Specialist Camillo Rodriguez had dreamed of serving in the Army since he was a young boy. His childhood dream came true in 1999, when he officially completed his basic and advanced individual trainings. His fellow soldiers coined him as Roddie, and that became his official nickname. Roddie planned to be a lifer, serving for at least 20 years, if not more. He aspired to be like his uncle and dad, who had both bravely fought in Vietnam.

But before Roddie could celebrate his five year anniversary, his unit was attacked by insurgents in Iraq. While Roddie attempted to save his best friend Sgt. Emily Sanders, he was shot through his calf. He was forced to choose between saving himself and the only other survivor- Simmons, and to leave behind Sanders and their medic, Grant.

While the bullet to his calf would be part of the reason he could not serve any longer,  the larger reason was due to his survivors guilt and PTSD for not trying harder to save his best friend.


He left Sanders and Grant behind, and that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

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