Do you ever wish you could meet the characters in a book? Well, here’s your chance to get to know Army officer Aaron Bricewick, “star” of True Surrender… a young, tough veteran who returns from a nightmare in Afghanistan only to find the battle for his body, heart and mind persists…
Can you tell us what happened to you in Afghanistan?
If you’ve read the book blurb, you know I was abducted and held by terrorists. The details aren’t for polite conversation. It took me a long time to tell even Holly (around page 154, I think); I’m still not comfortable telling the whole world.
But they broke your legs?
That’s true. The doctors were not able to save the left, so I have a below-the-knee amputation.
I understand that was the start of some problems for you.
I prefer to call them challenges.
Can you elaborate?
Let’s just say that I experienced some physical setbacks as well as some significant doubt and…you know…there was a lot of emotional stuff going on. And my career was very important to me, and suddenly that was in question.
What was the hardest part of your recovery?
I think the hardest part was being in a situation – for the first time in my life – where I really had no control. And I’ll admit: I hated it. There were times I didn’t handle that very well. Like the way I treated Holly after my amputation…
How would you say your career plans have changed?
I had planned on working my way up as far as I could go. Serving my country. I had no intention of trying to be a husband or father. But after everything that happened, I found a new calling.
Can you talk about the friends you’ve lost?
[deep breath] That’s a difficult topic…there were two deaths in particular that had a profound impact on me. And when you are betrayed by your best friend (as I was), it’s a sort of death as well.
When did you realize you were in love with Holly?
I would have to say that it was the morning after I got into that bar fight. She turned me down then. And it wasn’t until I was sicker than a dog, trying to kick my pain pills, that I realized why.
Ah, you’ll have to read the book to find that out. But I will say this: she did change her mind. A few times!
What is the significance of Surrender?
This concept of Surrender came up repeatedly in my journey. At first it was a whisper. Then it was modeled by the people in my life. I still didn’t get it because I was trying so hard to keep control that it made me sick. And when I finally let go and handed it over … it freed me.