I was born in a small farm town in Nebraska. Right after my birth my Dad sold the farm and moved us in near Chicago so I could go to Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospital and have my club feet corrected. I spent nine months a year for the first five years of my life in the hospital undergoing surgeries.
My first two years in high school were in the seminary, until I decided I wasn’t cut out for the priesthood.
I joined the Army right out of high school and spent nearly ten years in the Service. While on active duty in the Army, I competed nationally for a Division Rifle Team and was also a member of a Post Skydiving Team. I've made 1,400 Parachute jumps; over 1,100 of those jumps were free-falls from over 12,000 feet and 21 of the jumps were HALO jumps (HALO is a military acronym for High Altitude, Low Opening) meaning the jumper exits the aircraft from over 20,000 feet and is under 1,000 feet when the chute is deployed.
Since leaving the service I have been involved in the computer industry for nearly forty years doing everything from computer programming to Company President.
I have always been an avid hunter and enjoy the outdoors, especially when I'm in the woods or mountains. The idea for Bearkiller came to me while in the Wasatch Mountains.
I live in a suburb west of Chicago with my wife of 41 years.
In this sequel to – HALO – by D. J. Stephens - The year is 1965 - Jeff Barkil leads a six man team of highly trained special service operatives on a mission – Code Name –“Tarnished Halo” to terminate two of the Golden Triangles top drug lords. The problem, the drug lords are to be attending a meeting across the Burmese border in China. The team’s radio is destroyed during a river crossing early in the mission leaving them with no contact to the outside world. The team has to fight their way across the jungles of Laos and North Vietnam to reach their objective. Then they must rely solely on their small arms and combat expertise to fight their way back home. There will be no option of capture or surrender and there will be no rescue operation.
BEARKILLER, Action/Adventure Novel -
Do you believe in reincarnation?
BEARKILLER is a fast paced adventure novel that takes a man from the present to over two hundred years in the past, to possibly a past life!
Jeff Barkil has a passion for hunting. It seems to have been an integral part of his being since he was a boy. But he has never known why he is so drawn to it.
Maybe after this he will.
On a solo elk hunt in the Rocky Mountains, Jeff discovers something very peculiar. Although he's never even seen this place before, he seems to know all the landmarks. Somehow he's able to guess exactly what is in the next valley or over the next hill. Dismissing these amazing perceptions as a fluke, he carries on with his hunt-until he is attacked by a vicious grizzly.
Using a great deal of natural skill and determination, Barkil manages to kill the bear and survive. But he is badly injured; he feels close to death. With no one to help him, he struggles to get himself out of the mountains. On the second morning of his ordeal, he awakens with his mind in a blur. All he knows for sure is that he is young…in his late teens…and that he has just killed an attacking grizzly.
While he is trying to clear his head, he discovers that he has traveled two hundred years back in time and a hunting party of Blackfoot Indians has taken him to their village to honor him for his bravery.
Soon he is regarded as a splendid warrior and is given the name "Bearkiller." In the boy's subsequent adventures stealing horses and waging war against the Shoshone and the Sioux; he encounters and learns the landmarks he will recognize over two hundred years later as Jeff Barkil.
In due course, Bearkiller rescues the beautiful daughter of a chief, falls in love with her, and takes her as his bride. But the life of an Indian in the 1780's was often brief. One day in a fierce battle, the old grizzly wounds are reopened and he is defeated. With blood pouring out of his body, Bearkiller lies down to die…and wakes up in a Forest Service rescue helicopter, as Jeff Barkil.
The woman attending him, a doctor from the Blackfoot reservation, is fascinated that he has come out of unconsciousness speaking fluent Blackfoot. He's even calling her by her Blackfoot name. It's also the name of Bearkiller's wife.
As the events of his life as an Indian slip rapidly from his mind, Jeff Barkil wonders if what he experienced was real. Was he dreaming? Or was he reliving a past life? What will always remain clear is the image of a great grizzly standing over him, looking down at him as if from the top of a mountain, seeming to know his soul, somehow communicating to him without saying the words:
“Until we meet again, Bearkiller.”
HALO, Action/Adventure Novel -
HALO is a military acronym for High Altitude Low Opening referring to military freefalling. It is an insertion technique used for clandestine insertion into denied areas of interest. The operative exits an aircraft from twenty thousand feet or higher and freefalls to about one thousand feet before opening their parachute. These jumps are usually made at night.
Jeffery Barkil is a young soldier who upon completing his training as an Airborne Ranger is recruited by the CIA. After completing six months of their special training on running Black Operations, he is sent to Southeast Asia. The story takes place between the years 1958 and 1961, a period between the French surrender and expulsion from Vietnam and the US admitting they had troops in the country. Sergeant Barkil takes you on eleven harrowing missions including his time as a prisoner of the Viet Cong. You are taken from one mission to the next as Sergeant Barkil comes to terms with being a hired assassin while at the same time carrying out his missions and fighting to stay alive.
DEATH RIDER, Historical Western Novel -
Brodie Jones had been on his own since he was fifteen years old. He had headed west as a hunter, lived several years as a mountain man and scouted for the Fremont expeditions. At the outbreak of the Mexican War, he was scouting for the US Army.
Through his friend Kit Carson, he had met and fallen in love with Maria Santiago, the daughter of a wealthy land grant holder in New Mexico. While scouting for a patrol in the mountains near Taos, the Santiago hacienda was attacked by an Apache war party. When Brodie reached the hacienda, he found the entire family had been massacred.
The mountain man spent the better part of the next year tracking the warrior band all over the southwest territory from Taos down into Mexico and back multiple times, all the while extracting his revenge. He had killed twenty-three of the warriors from the war party, the remaining eight were ambushed and killed by scalp-hunters. During the period he was tracking down the Apaches, he had several encounters with a group of scalp-hunters that were also hunting Apaches. At that time the Mexican Governor was paying a bounty for Apache scalps and a band of renegades were roaming the territory killing anyone with long black hair and taking their hair.
With all of the war party dead, Brodie had been left feeling empty and alone. His quest for revenge had driven him and been his only reason for living to that point. Then a strange event briefly allied him with the Apaches, the outcome of which gave new meaning to his life and a reason to go on.
Death Rider is a historical western. Many of the names, places and events are factual; the character of Brodie Jones is purely fictional.
SHORT STORIES ON AMAZON SHORTS PROGRAM:
MEMOIRS OF A GYPSY MOTH -
I wrote this piece to share the experience, thrill and humor that I had in the early days of skydiving
MY HERO, MY DAD -
I wrote this piece to pay a small tribute to my Father, who always was and will always be a HERO to me. He could not leap tall buildings in a single bound, nor was he stronger than a locomotive, but in his own quiet way he was MY HERO! Dad gave up his way of life, a life he loved, so that I could walk.
BAD NIGHT IN THE BURBS -
Jeff Barkil is the main character from my two action novels, BEARKILLER and HALO. The short story is another adventure. He is now a senior citizen and takes on three “Gang Bangers” that break into his house in the middle of the night.