Barry Fixler autographing advance copies of SEMPER COOL: ONE MARINE

Photos of BEA 2010

Barry has shared a link to an album with you. To view the album or to reply to the message, follow this link:

Facebook Photo Album BEA 2010

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A remembrance table is an easy way to recognize National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Photo Credit: claire06010,

The third Friday of September is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Many Americans would like to honor our nations Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, but are not sure how. I suggest setting a traditional remembrance table at your family dinner, or requesting one be set at your favorite restaurant. The tradition takes only a few minutes and is a small but meaningful gesture to those who have perhaps made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Here is a list of the items required:

• Small American Flag
• Small round table
• White tablecloth
• Single place setting
• Pinch of salt sprinkled on plate
• Wine glass – inverted
• Slice of lemon on bread plate with a pile of spilled salt
• Small bud vase with a single stem red rose
• Red ribbon tied around the vase
• White candle – lit
• Empty chair

This is a suggested passage to be read, or considered:

This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that brave Americans are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs or MIAs, we call them “warriors.” They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.

This Table, set for one, is small and symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.

The Tablecloth is white and symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.

The single rose in the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America. This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing warriors who keep the faith, while awaiting their return.

The vase is tied with a yellow ribbon and represents the yellow ribbons worn on the lapels of the thousands who demand with unyielding determination a proper accounting of our comrades who are not among us tonight.

The lit candle is symbolizes the light of hope which lives in our hearts to illumi-
nate their way home, away from their captors, to the open arms of a grateful nation.

A slice of lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate.

The salt sprinkled on the plate reminds us of the countless fallen tears of families as they wait.

The wine glass is inverted because they cannot toast with us this night.
The chair is empty. They are not here.

The American Flag reminds us that many of them may never return – and have paid the supreme sacrifice to ensure our freedom.

Let us remember – and never forget their sacrifice.

May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families.

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Here’s a few sample photos that are representative of the 100+ photos that will be included in Semper Cool.

I’ve posted them to the SEMPER COOL fan page on facebook:

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Last night I was a guest on Tommy Mischke’s radio show. I think it was a great interview and Mischke had excellent questions about my book Semper Cool. Let me know what you think by leaving comments on my facebook page.

Here’s a link to the radio interview:

TD Mischke interviews author Barry Fixler

The Night Show with Mischke airs on WCCO AM830 News Radio, a 50,000 Watt CBS station broadcasting out of St. Paul, MN.

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Jeweler using Marine Corps experiences to help others

BARDONIA, N.Y. – Barry Fixler enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1967 as a wiry kid with only naïve notions of the adventure of being a Marine.

By the time Fixler entered the reserves in 1971, he was a man with a foundation for life formed from his service in the Corps, a new appreciation for his country and a lifelong dedication to helping others, especially those who fight to keep America free.

Fixler does most of his giving quietly.

The Bardonia, N.Y., jeweler for years has quietly shared his good fortune with people who seem to have fallen through the cracks of our society. Wounded U.S. veterans, truck drivers down on their luck and families of people who have gone missing are among the many who have benefitted from Fixler’s compulsion to help when and where he can.

So pardon Fixler for seeking as much notice as he can muster regarding his latest endeavor: Semper Cool. Semper Cool, to be released in November by New York-based Exalt Press, is Fixler’s book of memoirs recounting the formative experiences from his service in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

Fixler was one of the small group of Marines who fought the Siege of Khe Sanh, and his memories from that historic battle are among the many dramatic, harrowing and sometimes humorous stories that he shares in Semper Cool.

Fixler is donating every penny that he earns from the book to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded serving their country, and their families. His goal is to raise $1 million so he naturally wants to sell as many books as he can.

“This is America’s book,” Fixler said. My experiences in Vietnam are in this book and that makes it sacred to me. It wouldn’t be right to make money on it.”

Fixler served in Vietnam during the middle years of the war (1967-1968) and was among the few Marines to survive the entire Siege of Khe Sanh uninjured.

“When I attend the reunions I’m usually the only one who doesn’t rate a Purple Heart,” Fixler said. “I guess I’ve always been lucky with bullets.”

Fixler subconsciously drew on his Marine Corps experiences on Valentine’s Day 2005, when he was confronted by two pistol-packing criminals who tried to hold up his store. Fixler fought back, and the dramatic shootout was captured on videotape that was shown on television programs across the nation, gaining him some notoriety. He relives that morning in detail in Semper Cool.

Semper Cool is a compelling glimpse into the heart and mind of a great American with extraordinary experiences who continues to draw on those memories to serve his country in any way that he can.

Despite his low-key approach, Fixler’s efforts to help others already have gained recognition. He was named Veteran of the Year for 2009 in Rockland County, N.Y.


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