A story written by Jakemond… If you missed part Fifty Four, read it HERE!!!
My story continues in my next book, More Conflicted Destiny: A U.S. Marine Made in Africa, which chronicles my experiences in America and more than 40 other countries; how I joined the elite fighting force called the United States Marine Corps, went from the rank of private to major, and commanded troops in Iraq and many other places; the role I played before and during the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake disaster as the United Nations military spokesman/public information officer for the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH); my interaction with prominent figures including President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ambassador Susan Rice, General Chikadibia Obiakor, General Floriano Peixoto, General Peter Pace, General P.K. Keen, Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn, and Academy Award-winning producer Fisher Stevens, with whom I collaborated on two documentaries; and my eventual return to Liberia as part of the U.S. military observer contingent for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
First, my sincere appreciation goes to Oprah Winfrey, who, unbeknownst to her, has inspired me tremendously ever since my arrival in the United States. Her goodwill efforts through her Angel Network, as well as her other endeavors, have been a great source of motivation to me. While I was serving as chief military public information officer/spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, a group of children living in the slums of Cit? Soleil, Port Au Prince, handed me a bunch of handwritten notes to deliver to Oprah. A few weeks later, on January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing most of those children. I was eventually able to mail their notes to Oprah’s production company in December 2011. I hope that Oprah received them.
I owe a lot to my good friend, Academy Award-winning producer (The Cove), actor, and director Fisher Stevens, who motivated me to start writing my memoir before it was too late. Fish, it was a great pleasure working with you on the Culture Project film The War Against War. The memory of our good friends who died in the plane crash and in the earthquake will live on.
To my beloved hero and grandmother Nwanyi Burunnu—you have a special place in my heart. May your soul rest in peace. To my father, Monday Amadi Onyechere, I wish you were here to assess whether I indeed lived up to your image of me; rest in peace “Dede.” Uncle Francis, rest in peace.
Special thanks to the entire families of Amadi, Onyechere, Ewurum, and Ihetu.
Last but not least, a very special thank you to my dear friend Liz Rooney, who has been in my corner for a while now, urging me to join forces with her in her showbiz operations (Orange County TV).
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