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Sleep Walking Out Of Afghanistan: Walking It All Back by Harold Phifer
Harold Phifer was living a life that he was hiding from everyone–including himself. Then he met a retiree in Thailand who cracked that secret open. Finally listened to, and guided by the stranger’s on-target, thoughtful questions, Phifer spoke for the first time of his near-death experience while flashing back to his dysfunctional past.
Phifer’s memoir, Sleep Walking Out of Afghanistan: Walking It All Back does not shy away from the stark details of childhood bullying, family tension, schizophrenia, and feeling like an outsider. At the same time, Phifer expertly keeps the reader turning the pages by finding the knee-slapping comedy within the darkness. Anyone who enjoys a good thrill ride, sharp wit, and fast-paced self-reflection will appreciate Sleep Walking Out of Afghanistan.
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Introduction Message From Author Harold Phifer: Afghanistan is a war-torn country that’s known for car bombs and suicide attacks. What is amazing about it is the fact that it has almost no factories, industries, and chemical plants—yet explosions are as common as catching a cold!
I found myself caught in the middle of the biggest vehicle explosion to ever hit Afghanistan. While dealing with injuries and destruction, my mind kept spinning out of control from horror to horror. Most of it revolved around my dysfunctional past.
I did my best to replay my personal ordeals and the reactions of the people around me as accurately as possible. However, as I feared for my life, my complete history of existence kept bouncing back and forth in and out of my head.
Nothing about Afghanistan is comparable to anything that the average person can relate to or may have experienced. I tried to give a fair account of life as a foreign worker surrounded by unknown terrorists.
After being in Afghanistan as a contractor, I realized that only the fools, the desperate, and the greedy dare to return. Unfortunately, I fall into one or more of those categories. None of the events I experienced was a laughing matter, and I didn’t try to minimize any of my quests to survive.
The ventures of my life bounced like a yo-yo without a knot as I tried to come to grips with being at death’s door. Once the characters are established, you will find that most of my past is comically meshed together with abnormal circumstances. My stories take you through my highs and lows, while perhaps giving you some of the best laughter you will ever get from a book.
The journey started out in the tropical country of Thailand, where I was living a carefree life with no worries or drama. By happenstance, I came across another retiree named Dylan. He took advantage of my drunken state while easily coercing me to dive into my life history. It was a life that I buried deep below the surface—away from my kids, family, friends, coworkers, and mainly myself.
After being forced to fight for my life, I had an avalanche of past events come gushing out from every possible angle. Dylan helped open a door that took him and me on a whirlwind tour that neither of us had ever expected or imagined.
There are so many twists and turns that feed into other stories or episodes. These features take place in different areas: Thailand, Afghanistan, Detroit, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Memphis, Houston, and back to Thailand.
Like most confused males, I had many good and bad relationships with the opposite sex. However, I saw no real value in talking about my normal or balanced connections. Instead, I shared my many failures, embarrassments, and heartbreaks with the readers because it’s just good entertainment and also a major part of my development. No doubt that you will find them quite unusual and amusing as well.
Each brief story is sure to affect you differently than the previous one. Dealing with what I viewed as imminent death helped me bring closure to where I was once open and exposed.
This book touches on the sad, shocking, and schizophrenic behaviors that surrounded me until later in my adulthood. I tried to ratchet down those experiences with my sense of humor and my creative outtakes.
You will meet both male and female bullies throughout the book. You will get to follow my difficult and awkward approach to meet my dad. And finally, you will witness my hidden drive just to be loved and accepted.
I hope that readers like you will desire to go back to these pages more than once. You may find yourself identifying with many of the events or characters. Hopefully, some of the stories will stick with you like nothing you have ever read or heard before.
About The Author: Harold Phifer was born and raised in Columbus, Mississippi. All of his first 25 years were solidly spent inside his home state. After graduating from Mississippi State University and Jackson State University, he went on to work for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 23 years as an Air Traffic Controller. He left the FAA and began work as an International Contractor, where he has done numerous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Charities: I donate my books to the following organizations:
- GrassROOTS Community Foundation
- Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop
- Best Seller – War Fiction (Australia)
- Best Seller – Biographical (Canada)
- Best Seller – Letter Correspondence (United Kingdom)
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