Retired & Salute!
Just want to say thank you to all the great folks with whom I served and from whom I learned. After more than 20 years, since 1982, retired in 2010, on Active,Guard and Reserves, I can say, we have some truly great people in our armed forces and we as a nation can be truly proud of these Americans who have been brave and dedicated!
And I want to wish to all those still serving, in harm's way and their loved ones back out home, a big Salute out to each of you!
Mykel Hawke sends
CPT, SF (Ret.)
Former 18D, 18E, 18F - SFC
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Big Brother's Little Brother
Here's a new photo from one of my recent appearances on the UK Channel 4's Big Brother's Little Brother
George Lamb was the Host of that show and has his own show on the BBC's Radio 6.
I enjoyed working on the show as I'm allowed to always make a Commando entrance!
Prayers for Haiti
Hawke sends prayers out for those suffering and perished in Haiti.
Starting Off 2010
If I was doing New Year's Resolutions, one of them might be to do more blogging, haha! So, in that spirit...here's to it!
I just watched the movie, Hurt Locker
. A must-see for Vets struggling with the post combat depression and their loved ones.
I also finished reading on of the most enjoyable books in a long time, Gates of Fire
. Being part Greek, I was filled with pride. Being all warrior, even more so.
For everyone who is elite and special, and for those who want to understand the way of the warrior, what they believe and why, what it takes and why, this is the book to read.
Q & A With Hawke
Greetings! And a belated Happy New Year!
Thought we'd start off the new blog with something special, so this is a Q & A with me and In the Dark of the Sun co-author, Kim. We're posting this in crossover fashion on all three of our blogs and hope you will visit all of them to get us off to a big jump start.
Hawke's Hot Zone
Specops Op Center
In the Dark of the...Blog
KIM: So…2008 was a pretty busy year for you.
HAWKE: Yes, 2008 started off very interestingly as I was picked to be the lead for a team of operators to go around the country and help people. Kind of like the real A-Team. It was by the same folks who made Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I was cast as their Ty Pennington, and the show was for CBS. We did an amazing job and the show went very well—that production company is truly gifted! But we encountered some very risky situations and CBS decided they couldn’t overcome the legal obstacles. So, a few months down the road of waiting and passing up other work (as you must be exclusive on many of these shows) that went away and it was back to the war room.
KIM: We know all too well about the waiting and exclusivity in publishing, don’t we?
HAWKE: You got that right!
KIM: You also worked on a new book that’s due out this spring…talk about that.
HAWKE: I worked on two books. One is a compilation by Paladin Press—they published my language book, The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast—called Dangerously Fun Stuff for Boys Who Never Grew Up, where I did a couple of chapters. The other is my Green Beret Survival Manual, published by Running Press.
KIM: There are a lot of survival reality shows and books out. What is one of the biggest misconceptions you see among these?
HAWKE: As I own many survival books and have read most, the things that catch my attention are twofold. Firstly, there are those things which seem to be perpetuated myths in all of the books, whether an illustration or a practice, mainly because it looks good. We say it “briefs well” or “looks good on paper,” but the actual implementation doesn't pass the common sense test in that it either really doesn't work at all or only barely does so. Secondly, the biggest part of most survival books is predicated on one or two presumptions: one, that you have something to work with, like a knife; two, that you have full health, strength, and are not ill or injured. I take the approach in all my subjects that one always starts off at a deficit in a survival situation…since having items usually means you prepared, and prepared folks often aren’t the ones who end up having to survive. So, I tackle every issue as if one is already ill and/or injured. This way, it is also more applicable to kids, women, elderly, and working folks who might not be super fit or natural outdoors people. In other words, I try to teach only things that really work, but often although they are very real, they are very raw. That is true survival as I see it—anything else is more like adventure camping.
KIM: You really enjoyed writing this book, didn’t you?
HAWKE: Absolutely. It was a labor of love, born out of experience and a passion to tell the truth when there is a lot of Hollywood out there on the subject. This book was a real risk, as I expose a lot of myself in it and conflict with many conventional norms. I expect it to be somewhat controversial, but I stand by it.
KIM: I know what you mean about exposing a lot of yourself as this was definitely the case with In the Dark of the Sun. There's always such a vulnerability in writing that takes more courage than most ever realize!
KIM: Okay, getting back to the shows...
HAWKE: I did some shows in the U.K. for Channel 5. They aren’t as averse to using us Yanks like some of the other British channels. Then I hosted a survival show for Discovery, but the same way they used Mike Rowe to host Ice Truckers, after eight weeks of filming, they decided a host didn’t fit their vision of the format and they cut out that part of the show. Ice Truckers went on to be a great hit, so they did well, and Mike went on to host Dirtiest Jobs and voice for other shows, so he did well, too. Such is the nature of this business. So it was a busy year and full of learning and experience and that is always a good thing, haha!
KIM: You also did Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
HAWKE: Yeah, that was a blast! It was for the Travel Channel...airs this spring.
KIM: Speaking of bizarre foods...you’ve had your share. What was just about the most bizarre? What, for you, is surprisingly good?
HAWKE: For me, it’s the bugs. Some taste like you’d expect them to taste and some taste amazingly good, juicy, sweet and yummy! I’d have to say an all time fave is the rotting coconut that has a new sprout in it...that seed is a divinely sweet, juicy tasting food, much like a coconut-flavored soft apple.
KIM: I still laugh when I think about your episodes on The Simple Life, where you had Paris and Nicole eating bugs and worms!
HAWKE: (Laughs) We-ell, I do have to give the girls credit for at least trying it!
KIM: Of all the exotic places you have been, what is the one place that stands out? Why? The worst, where you’d never return, why? The place you’ve never been and always wanted to go?
HAWKE: This is always a fun question. For me Turkey was a magical place. I found the former Soviet region to be sad—with the worst aspects of Capitalism fused with Communism, yet I love the people and the language. For me, Africa was a tough place. Easy to love its beauty, but the war there was one of the most brutal I’ve ever experienced. It stays with me now. The places I want to see are the simple places where tourists go, but my occupation hasn’t brought me to, yet....Places like the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Mount in Israel, the Temples of India. I will get there when and if it is meant to be.
KIM: What’s new with your adventure company, Specops?
HAWKE: We started our new dating and family specific programs last year and those have been great! This year, we’re opening new locations for our programs. Places like Panama, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.
KIM: Thriller series are enjoying wild success...why do you think people love a cool good guy that’s got the “bad boy” thing, now in these times.
HAWKE: I don't know about cool, but Americans love a good guy. Despite any world opinion, past or present, in essence we are truly good guys as a nation. But, the last decade has shown us we have been a bit naive and that some things simply need a bit of tough love...and that’s where the bad boy-good guy role fills the need perfectly. In Special Forces, we live on the edge and work in the gray areas. That’s why we must have a good moral compass. It is the single most important factor that sets us apart from the rest of the conventional and even the other special operations folks. For me, the Green Berets are where the bad boys get to be the good guys, and that suits me right down to the core.
KIM: Let's let everyone know where we are with our thriller In the Dark of the Sun.
HAWKE: Last year was pretty hectic, lots of travel, too, so for everyone who's been asking about it, hang in there...it's coming. Stay tuned!
KIM: Since this is just the first in the series, tell us where Jake is going in future books.
HAWKE: I think the future for Jake is always going to be fighting the war after the next war. In other words, the military has always suffered the same syndrome of fighting their last war. Look at Nam, we were teaching those tactics to our young folk in survival school for more than a year after 9/11. Even though we had fought in the desert recently. Now, the army doesn’t even make or issue black boots, even though we have troops in the snow and fighting in the jungles of the P.I. and elsewhere right now. It’s all tan, suede desert boots. That is a powerful reflection of where their head is, and isn't! So, Jake will be out there, ahead of the brass and masses, fighting in conflicts to come, giving us time to catch up and helping to give us an edge when it finally catches up to the rest of the world. Jake is both a complicated and simple guy...but he does not live a simple life with simple conflicts.
KIM: What’s in the works for you media-wise?
HAWKE: Like a sailor at sea, I have become a bit superstitious about speaking too far ahead when it comes to the media world. I've simply seen way too many great ideas and shows go away all because someone leaves a company, or gets sacked, or has a change of heart, or gets a bout of self doubt, or thinks one idea is like another whether it is or isn't. So, for me, when it comes to commenting on future projects, I have a simple answer: Until the check is in the bank, the film is in the can, and the ratings are up, nuthin' means nuthin'! (Laughs) Bottom line, many good things are in the works, let's hope some of them get to be seen as there are some amazing and powerful stories that still need to be told.