25 May 2016

11th Annual Ride Remembers 'Red Bull' Soldier

Photos: Dan Sesker Memorial Poker Run
Organizers of the 11th Annual Dan Sesker Memorial Poker Run are taking on-line registrations for the Sun., May 29, 2016 event, which takes place during Memorial Day weekend.

The event commemorates Iowa Army National Guard Sgt. Dan Sesker, killed by an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) on April 6, 2006 in the vicinity of Tikrit, Iraq. He was nine days short of his twenty-third birthday.

The event will start and finish in Ogden, Iowa. Day-of-ride registration and sign-in will be 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Ogden city park.

In a poker run, registered participants are dealt random cards and each stop along a designated route. At the final stop of the day, the participant with the highest poker hand wins a pot of cash. Raffles, T-shirt sales, and other fund-raising efforts may also take place during the event. There will be food, drinks, and entertainment at the end of the ride, according to organizers, and the event will be held rain or shine.

James "Juice" Justice and Dan Sesker
Sesker was a member of Troop C, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment (1-113th Cav.), both then and now part of the Iowa's 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division. In his role as a citizen, he was a youth counselor and part-time police officer. He learned his fiancée was pregnant with their first child while he was deployed, and looked forward to his future role as a father. S

esker was friends with many citizen-soldiers, including Staff Sgt. James "Juice" Justice, who was himself killed in action during a later brigade deployment to Afghanistan. Proceeds for 2016 poker run event will go to:
  • The Gage Sesker Trust Fund
  • Iowa C.O.P.S.
  • Sesker Memorial Scholarship
A Facebook page for the event is here.

A website is here.

When available, the 2016 route map will be posted here. Via social media, organizers have announced stops will include:

  • Ogden
  • Boxholm 
  • Grand Junction 
  • Jamaica 
  • Woodward 
  • Ogden

18 May 2016

Lit Journal to Focus on Military Stories Beyond Service

Faculty editors at the University of Washington—Tacoma have announced "Collateral," a twice-annual on-line journal, published in summer and winter issues. The journal will feature creative writing and art that "explores the impact of the military and military service on the lives of people beyond the active service person." The editors seek fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and art that illuminate these "collateral" narratives.

Submissions are via the publication's website here. Microsoft Word or PDF files are preferred. The journal requests first serial Internet rights. All other rights remain with the author. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are acceptable. Notifications within an anticipated average of 8 weeks, depending on time of year.

The publication's mission statement reads:
Collateral explores the perspectives of those whose lives are touched indirectly by the realities of military service. Numerous journals already showcase war literature, but we provide a creative platform that highlights the experiences of those who exist in the space around military personnel and the combat experience. 
We feel these voices sometimes go unheard, and this journal captures the "collateral" impact of military service, whether it is from the perspective of the partner or child; the parent or sibling; the friend or co-worker; or the elderly veteran, the refugee, or the protester. In any issue, you might find the haiku of a seven-year old girl whose father is in Afghanistan alongside the short story of an award-winning fiction writer. Or the first-person essay of a military spouse alongside the critical essay of an academic.
Editors suggest submission of 3-5 poems or 1-3 pieces of prose, with no length requirements.

In addition to creative writing, editors plan to include feature articles and interviews in future issues. Query the editors via e-mail: submissions AT collateraljournal.com.

04 May 2016

Winners Announced in Veterans' Writing Contest

Editors at the Chicago-based literary journal "Line of Advance" have announced the inaugural slate of Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Award winners. Underwritten by the Blake & Bailey Foundation, the contest was established in memory of U.S. Army Col. Darron L. Wright.

More background on "Line of Advance" previously appeared on the Red Bull Rising blog here.

"Thanks to all the writers who submitted for the Darron L. Wright Award," the editors wrote earlier this week. "We loved reading your work and are inspired by the creativity and ingenuity it took to write these pieces."


Retooled as a free website in 2015, the Line of Advance will publish one or two waves of submissions annually. Content published in four previous issues of the Line of Advance e-magazine will be anthologized and re-published on the website.

A Facebook page for "Line of Advance" is here.