In my recent release Cooking With Sin the hero is a Senior Chief Petty Officer and Navy master diver. If you haven’t read the book yet, what you don’t know is that the hero, Cole Rodriguez is an amputee recently returned to active duty.
Of course, this might sound rather far fetched considering our military has to be in peak shape. But what some of you don’t know is that there are plenty of wounded warriors who continue to serve in the military.
In fact, Cole’s character was influenced by Carl M. Brashear, the first black U.S. Navy diver, who was portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in the 2000 film “Men of Honor”.
Brashear, a native of Sonora, Ky., was the first Navy diver to be restored to full active duty as an amputee, the result of a leg injury he sustained while recovering a hydrogen bomb that dropped into waters off Spain when two U.S. Air Force planes collided.
Although the Navy was ready to retire Brashear, he embarked on a grueling almost seven-month training program that included calistenics, walking around in a 240 lb diving suit, climbing gymnasium stairs with 50lbs strapped to his back and running several miles a day.
“Sometimes I would come back from a run, and my artificial leg would have a puddle of blood from my stump. I wouldn’t go to sick bay because they would have taken me out of the program,” Brashear said in 2002 when inducted into the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians. “Instead, I’d go hide somewhere and soak my leg in a bucket of hot water with salt in it — that’s an old remedy I learned growing up.”
But all of his hard work paid off after completing 600-foot to 1,000-foot-deep dives while being evaluated for five weeks at the Experimental Diving Unit in Washington, D.C., Brashear became a master diver in 1970.
To read an excerpt of my interracial romance, Cooking with Sin click here!