Posts tagged with "Honduras"

Inhuman illustration by Heather Skovlund (Cover art for Inhuman provided by Smith Publicity) for 360 Magazine

Eric Leland × Inhuman

A Gripping Military Horror with Shocking Supernatural Twists

Q&A WITH ERIC LELAND:

AUTHOR OF Inhuman MILITARY THRILLER DEBUT

Question: What inspired you to write Inhuman?

Eric Leland: During a class for my MA I wrote a 25-page short story titled Recon Team: Mercury. That story was shortened to five pages and is now the prologue to Inhuman. For a NaNoWriMo idea I thought it would be interesting to see what happened when the rescuers came looking for the team that disappeared in my original short story. Inhuman is the result.

Q: What sets Inhuman apart from other military and horror books?

EL: The bravado one comes to expect when reading military fiction is quickly ripped away to expose and pick at the delicate flesh of fear and self-doubt we are ashamed to admit exists.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

EL: It was never my intent for Inhuman to be didactic. Primarily I hope readers are entertained. I hope readers will remember the experience of Inhuman rather than any particular lesson.

Q: Inhuman features a diverse cast of characters. How did your military friendships, and experiences with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” inform this inclusivity?

EL: A diverse cast adds verisimilitude to military fiction simply because any U.S. military unit features a diverse roster. In my first combat experience I found myself fighting shoulder to shoulder with Mexican Americans, an African American, and a gay woman. Unfortunately, DADT was still a thing for most of my military career and I would only find out after DADT was repealed that some of my greatest friends were gay. I think truth in fiction is important, and if I did not write a diverse cast I would by lying. Readers can spot a lie from a mile out.

Q: How did you develop your characters? And which of them do you have the strongest connection to?

EL: The character Jaran is heavily based on my wife’s experiences who was born in Vietnam. At an early age, she and her family fled to a refugee camp after the war. The chaos of displacement during war time seemed terrifying. I can’t really say which character I have the strongest connection to—John’s sense of duty; Chris’s refusal to take anything seriously; and Brandon’s severe depression and self-doubt—they’re all variations of me.

Eric Leland grew up in Massena, NY and entered Army basic training upon high school graduation. He was an MP in the Army for six years and reclassified to a Special Agent with the Army Criminal Investigation Division. Eric deployed to Honduras in 2002, and Iraq in 2003 and 2009 where he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for valor. He completed his MA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and has happily traded in his gun for a pen. Eric lives in Seattle with his wife. Connect with Eric Leland on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Inhuman is available on Amazon in both print and digital.

Audiobook forthcoming in Summer 2021.

Airplane illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Medjet Partnership with Luxury Card

Pioneer in Air Medical Transport & Travel Security Memberships Now Available with Exclusive Pricing for Luxury Card’s Mastercard Gold Card, Mastercard Black Card and Mastercard Titanium Card Members

Medjet, the industry leader in air medical transport and travel security memberships for travelers, has announced a new partnership with Luxury Card, a global leader in the premium credit card market. Luxury Card’s Mastercard Gold Card, Mastercard Black Card and Mastercard Titanium Card members are now eligible for discounts on the company’s two membership options: MedjetAssist and MedjetHorizon.


“Medjet offers unparalleled professionalism and peace of mind,” says Marina Kissam, Vice President of Customer Experience at Luxury Card. “Safety while traveling is a growing priority, so we are pleased that our Cardmembers will be able to take advantage of exclusive savings on Medjet memberships before they embark on their next adventure.”

An industry forerunner, Medjet provides travelers hospitalized more than 150 miles from home with premier air medical transport to a hospital of their choice at home. Most travel insurance medical evacuation coverage is only to the “nearest acceptable” hospital. In October of 2020, Medjet was the first program of its kind to announce transport benefits for its members hospitalized with COVID-19 in the contiguous United States, Canada, Mexico and Belize, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda at no additional cost to members. That was followed shortly thereafter with the addition of Costa Rica and, just this month, Medjet added all of Central America (including Panama, Guatemala, and Honduras) to the list of countries from which members can be transported, if hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Even before the pandemic, statistics showed that one in 30 trips end in a medical emergency,” said Mike Hallman, CEO of Medjet. “We hope this new partnership, and Medjet protection, can bring a little more confidence to travelers, knowing that if the worst happens, they have someone to call.”

Since 1991, Medjet has upheld the highest service and standards in the industry. With the partnership between Luxury Card and Medjet, Luxury Card members can now receive 10% off all annual MedjetAssist memberships, which start at $265 per year for an individual, $359 for a family (two adults and up to five children). Additional security and crisis response protections are available with the MedjetHorizon membership for just an additional $149 per year for individual memberships or an additional $179 per year for family memberships. This discount is available to Luxury Card members until December 31, 2021. 

Medjet Website

Luxury Card Website

TPS Holders Sue Trump Administration

Six adults with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and two U.S. citizen children of TPS holders filed a class-action lawsuit today seeking to stop the unlawful termination of TPS for over 100,000 TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal and prevent the separation of tens of thousands of U.S. citizen children from their TPS-holder parents. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and ACLU Foundation of Northern California in the release, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Sidley Austin. [Read the filing here]

In October of 2018, the Court enjoined the termination of TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador, finding substantial evidence that the terminations were motivated by racism and violated the Administrative Procedure Act. Plaintiffs in Bhattarai v. Nielsen allege that the terminations of TPS for Honduras and Nepal suffer from the same legal flaws and should be set aside. Plaintiffs also allege that the terminations are unconstitutional because they require the U.S. citizen children of TPS holders to choose between their country and their family.

Plaintiff Keshav Raj Bhattarai, a member of Adhikaar and Nepali TPS holder shares, “I am proud to be a part of this lawsuit, for all the other Nepali TPS holders like me. With TPS I have been able to build a new life here with my family and I have a found a stable job. When I see so many people’s lives at risk in losing TPS, I am troubled to see that this country would harm its hardworking workers and people. I wish to continue working to support this country, and also continue supporting the rebuilding of Nepal, which is still recovering from the earthquake.”

The complaint filed today alleges that, in terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal, political appointees in the Department of Homeland Security deliberately ignored recommendations from U.S. Ambassadors and evidence of conditions on the ground. Instead, they predetermined that TPS must be terminated to further the President’s “America First” policy, which seeks to exclude non-white, non-European immigrants. The complaint recites a litany of racist statements made by President Trump in reference to Latin American and South Asian countries and immigrants, including referring to immigrants as snakes and animals, mispronouncing Nepal as “nipple,” and faking an Indian accent in imitation of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.

Plaintiff Donaldo Posadas Caceres, a member of the Painters’ Union (IUPAT DC21) with TPS from Honduras explains, “I’m taking part in this lawsuit not just for myself and my daughter but for everyone who would be hurt by our TPS being taken away. Forcing our children to choose between the life they have here or a country they don’t know is unfair. Sending all of us to danger and instability is unjust. I’m proud to have been a union painter for two decades in this country and it does not feel right to see all of that just cut away.”

Jessica Bansal, NDLON’s Co-Legal Director, said: “The Trump Administration is illegally trying to gut the humanitarian TPS program, but TPS holders are fighting back. They have already won a temporary reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders. With today’s filing, they seek to protect tens of thousands more.”

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are members of diverse organizations fighting to defend TPS in the courts and in Congress, including Adhikaar, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), AND the National TPS Alliance.

Jenny Zhao, Staff Attorney at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, said: “The Trump Administration’s plan to end TPS for Honduras and Nepal must be stopped before it causes immeasurable harm to TPS holders, their families, and their communities.”

Minju Cho, Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles said: “TPS holders are valued members of our communities. They are parents to tens and thousands of U.S. citizen children. TPS is vital to people’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their families. We are proud to stand alongside these communities in their fight against the Trump administration’s unconstitutional attempt to take TPS away.”

Ahilan Arulanantham, Senior Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, said: “We are proud to represent these courageous U.S. citizen children and their parents who held Temporary Protected Status before the Trump Administration unlawfully stripped it away. They ask only that our government respect their due process rights. We hope the Court will uphold the rule of law and grant them the protection they deserve.”

DREAMer of the Day

TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.

Today’s DREAMer of the Day is Axel Galeas of California’s De Anza College:

“My American Dream, I have come to realize, involves much more than new clothes, iPhones, and materialistic things.

At De Anza College, I want to pursue a degree in either bioengineering or environmental engineering. After graduation, I hope to obtain a creative job that helps tackle climate change and helps shine light on the lack of funding that it is receiving. I want to become financially stable; I want to be able to travel and teach and learn everything there is to learn. I also want to become a United States citizen. While it still feels so crazy to me that a piece of paper determines citizenship, I want to fully participate in this, the country I now call home. I want to better my home, and a piece of paper could stand in the way of that.

Growing up and going to school as an immigrant wasn’t easy; I remember being in the first grade, right after arriving in this country, and beginning to learn English. It was all so foreign to me, having lived in Honduras my whole life. It felt strange even knowing there were other languages other than Spanish and realizing that Spanish was just one of many languages spoken across the world. Beyond learning the language, I remember struggling with the price comparison of items and clothes I had compared to my peers.

In high school, I became almost obsessed with luxury and clothes.  Every student seemed to be dressed their best and to have the most expensive things. I wanted these things and I’d envy them. This persisted for the first couple years of high school until I attended a life changing leadership symposium. This experience forced me to truly dig deep and re-evaluate my values and beliefs. Since then, even though I am still adjusting and confronting many challenges in life, I have become more self-aware and less focused on chasing material highs and competing with anyone on this level. I have adapted a mindset that focuses more on being mindful of the people around me as well as myself and my feelings as a person, in other words I’ve become more proficient in emotional intelligence.

I do have to remind myself of this sometimes and also of how far I’ve come living here. I need to stop, take a deep breath, appreciate everything I have, and continue with this headspace.  I would be living a completely different life had I stayed in Honduras – a life with significantly less opportunity. A life where many grow up to be murderers and drug dealers. I look back on myself as a freshman in high school, sitting in my English class where the majority of the class was Caucasian. I was one of two non-white students, out of the thirty students in my class. This made me feel inferior, looked down on, and, at times, discriminated against. Some of it was in my head, while some of it was also evident in the way I was treated in respect to my peers by my peers.

Then, during my senior year, I was in an AP Literature class with that same teacher who taught that freshman year English class. We built a strong connection throughout my high school years, and he witnessed me mature and grow into a secure, self-loving man.  He saw firsthand that I no longer felt intimidated by my classmates and that I took initiative in conversation in the classroom. It felt like a lot had come full circle for me in a short period of time, and it makes me proud to reflect on this growth.

As high school neared its end, I had no idea how I was going to pay for college, better yet how I’d survive in the real world while being undocumented. I knew that I would somehow, even if that meant taking out loans. I didn’t realize this would be nearly impossible to finance, but I made up my mind that I would be college educated. When I learned about TheDream.US scholarship from one of my teachers, I was amazed at the amount that this offered and the extent to which this could help fund my college dreams. After putting effort into my studies, I realized that I had been surviving the real world all along, only now it has been formerly addressed as an issue.

I am a DACA student, one out of the 800,000 in this country who are just as lost as I am. Who struggle with self-identification, and have to constantly look over their shoulder. Because we do not trust easy. We want the best for this country and the people in it. I am American, and a piece of paper does not define me. Being American is the epitome of culture. We are culturally driven, so why are we not embracing these aspiring, beautiful, young American Immigrants?

I truly believe the most important experience for a human being is to have the ability to learn. Educational learning as well as keeping a growth mindset are catalysts to bridging the gap between cultures. This way, we can understand each other better. I never want to stop learning, and one day I will never want to stop teaching.”

TheDream.US, which has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC, believes that all young people, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, gain an education, and fully participate in the country that they call home. To date, the organization has committed more than $103 million in scholarship money for DREAMers.

Read through a story bank of TheDream.US Scholars here  

Find out more about TheDream.US here

Take original title or chose a different one.

Example: DREAMer of the Day

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▪ ORIGINAL: Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.

▪ AMENDED: – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.