Rosemary Beach resident Cym Lowell is giving back to the men and women who have served America through his second published novel, "Jasper's War."
One hundred percent of the book's proceeds will be donated to Soldiers' Angels, a non-profit organization that provides aid and comfort to the men and women that have served in the United States Armed Forces.
"I wanted to find a way to honor our wounded heroes," said Lowell. "Soldiers' Angels is almost a pure volunteer-run organization. Its voice-activated computer program is perfect for my dream of helping those who allow us to be free through their sacrifices. Watching these heroes receive means of communication is heartening."
Lowell, who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, travels the world as a tax attorney and has written professional tax books for 30-plus years. As a hobby, Lowell has been writing fiction for about 20 years, although he mainly hid this talent.
"I'd write manuscripts, put them on a shelf, then start the next," he said, "until my sweetheart said I should see if they have traction."
In 2008, Lowell published his first novel, "Riddle of Berlin," and on April 4, Lowell published his second book "Jasper's War."
The book follows Jasper Moran, a mom and wife who searches the globe for her missing children after she learns her husband's flight on a government jet has crashed.
"I was inspired by exploring the emotions of a normal person who must become a warrior — doing things otherwise inconceivable — to regain her life," Lowell explained.
After finishing "Jasper's War," Lowell heard about Soldiers' Angels and their wait list of 200 wounded warriors who, because of injuries sustained during fighting, were in need of voice-activated laptops. That's when he decided to donate 100 percent of his book's proceeds, calling the initiative OPERATION: NEXT CHAPTER. To promote the cause, he recently made presentations in Washington D.C., where he formally launched OPERATION: NEXT CHAPTER and New York City, where he spoke to at-risk teenagers advising them to "have a dream, be patient and persistent... and open your heart to the inspiration and guidance of those who seek to mentor us."
"Following these presentations I learned a vital truth," Lowell said. "If we are able to articulate our experience hoping to inspire others, the beneficiaries multiply. We also benefit from coming full circle in our lives. Sharing it with others, in simple candor, completes our experience."
As much as Lowell enjoys writing, it has perhaps been the opportunity to help United States veterans that has been more rewarding.
"I have learned that helping others, whether it is through communication equipment or life inspiration, is a joyous blessing," he said. "It is inconceivable to me how blessed I have been. That blessing has taken me to another level of understanding of life, friendship, love, community, respect and simple joy."