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Readers Digest Helped Save the World

Ever wonder what made you the person you are today? I mean, I can give you a lot of throw away answers about my time in the military, but really, why?

Why from the primary element from the elemental table Whymium.

I recently read a blog by the fantastic Allie Yohn titled "How Reader's Digest Helped Me Get Into College." It talks bunches about how RD helped her overcome reading and learning issues. No one really knows what will affect them, in this case we are Devotees of the Church of Readers Digest.

In my case, my problems weren't the word. It was a combination of laziness and an inability. Laziness because school came so easily for me. Inability because of math. For instance, I had an appointment to the Air Force Academy sewn up. On the ACT I maxed out the English.

But the math.

Oh hell, the math.

I think I needed a 32. On my first attempt I had a 27. Then a 28. Then a 29. And that was it. Strike out. Must have been for the better, because I never was a STEM Soldier.

But back to what made me join and keep wanting to save the world.

When I was about nine, my parents bought a slipcased box of books with the overall title READER'S DIGEST TEEN-AGE TREASURY. They were subtitled Challenge, Action, Endeavor, and Wide World. Copywrite 1952, these were the stories about fighting wolves, escaping bears, being lost in the woods, discovering buried treasure, etc. Best of all, they were all true.

They inspired within me to create my own true stories and the only way that would happen was to find a way to adventure. Hence, 52 countries, special operations, an intelligence agency, Afghanistan, and so much more.

I absolutely believe to my core that had it not been for those four books i would have lived a life less lived.

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Greg Langelius
Greg Langelius
Sep 25, 2023

There's a bit of gayle and Gutie, both, in me. Plus, my Mom had a huge collection of Readers Digest Condensed Books. Oddly, it was my Dad who intro'd me to S/F. I hardly ever saw him, he worked nights. Period.

From 1970 on, so did I, being newly married that year. I did it for 15 years, and finally got to enjoy my Daughter's company when she turned 16..

I turned 77 back in May. US Marine Viet Vet.

There's more, but it's boring; so I'll release you to your own devices.


I just read your book "Grunt Life". Thank you. I worked in social services and medicine, and we are grunts there, too. Always someone with budget control changing the program. I am who I am because of all the desperate, broken people who trusted me to find the tools and resources to get them to the next step. I learned things I had no right to understand. And I left the game before I imploded.


My own introduction to the world at large came about from adventuring on my bicycle, to a used book store that was at the periphery of my teenage AO. That was where I discovered EE "Doc" Smith, JRR Tolkien, Piers Anthony, and Christopher Stasheff. Those authors got me hooked on reading and placed a burning ember deep in my mind that's still there, today!

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