Edmonds Military Wire: When death hits you in face — An operator’s journey to a new mission

Andrew Coussens

Our circumstances can sometimes be overwhelming. When Andrew lost his wife, he had a choice to make.

What will you do when death hits you in the face?

Andrew E. Coussens spent nearly eight years deployed as a contractor for a classified U.S. government program that is still active in numerous areas of the world in support of the War on Terror.

He spent three years simultaneously training partner nations in counter-terrorism tactics for the U.S. State Department’s Global Anti-Terrorism Assistance program.

Since leaving these programs, Coussens has been employed as a consultant for The Activity Group, a company that provides field-trauma solutions for the U.S. military (AFRICOM), federal law enforcement agencies, SWAT/emergency teams, and tactical medical programs worldwide.

His life seems like one written from the pages of a suspense, Jason Bourne movie — and in some ways it is. When he lost his wife, Coussens had to lean into his children and find a way to manage that pain while offering stability in his home.

So, he took to writing as a form of therapy.

His first novel is sure to be a best seller. A Failed State is an international war on terror novel that is fast-paced, and very real. Sure, it’s packed with action and events that seem familiar but it’s more than another “war on terror” novel — it dives deep into the emotions of the men who serve on those front lines.

Damien Collins, the main character, struggles with severe anxiety, a troubled marriage, and a custody dispute over his five-year-old daughter — all while serving as a member of this elite intelligence-gathering team trying to stop the spread of ISIS and its emergence in the hotbed of Afghanistan.

The brilliance of this novel is in how Coussens portrays the struggle and war between the battle front and the home front.

And just when you get to the end of the book…you realize there is more to the story. Brilliant.

Be sure to grab a copy of the book, A Failed State, which is available now at www.AFailedState.com and available in bookstores across the country toward the end of October 2018.

If you want to hear the behind-the-scenes live interview with Andrew Coussens, visit The Military Wire podcast.

Mike Schindler

— By Mike Schindler

Edmonds resident Mike Schindler is the founder and chief executive officer of Operation Military Family Cares –– a 501(c)(3) veteran service organization and technology provider that combats veteran homelessness, while working to strengthen relationships and equip communities and families for success. He is also the Program Manager of Community Engagement & Innovation for the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University.

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