Nick Cassel wrote a book – not always the easiest of projects, and a sacrifice that requires reliving things that are not always pleasant. The loss of friends, being away from family, facing danger as a contractor in a combat zone, the book “John Fifteen Thirteen” details his experiences from being a police officer to a Government contractor. All classified data was removed prior to publication, and some of the names were changed, as well as some of the incidents combined to make the story flow. But this is a must read book – with drama, humor, poignant moments and lessons that are present in life. It’s a message that all need to hear.
“Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
About the author
John Nicholas Cassel started off his law enforcement career in Columbus, Georgia working undercover on the Vice Squad in the 90s. He graduated from the law enforcement academy, and earned a degree in Criminal Justice.
Eventually he moved to Northern Virginia, then with his wife and applied to several contracting agencies. He deployed with such contract agencies as Dyncorp to Kosovo, and with others to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. At one time he was on a GRU or Global Response Unit, like Tig, Boone, and Tanto from Benghazi. He won’t deploy again due to a medical issue, and the fact that he wants to be with his family, which consists of his wife Kim, and his two children, Nick and Alex. He is now serving as a government staffer.
Why is the book by Nick Cassel important? Because the current situation in America needs a pathway through the hate and violence. Nick shows the answer through his experiences, and the lessons he learned along the way.
Killing Maggie Mae
In one chapter, Nick chronicles a case where he had to confront a suspect who had just killed a woman who refused to remove herself from a domestic violence situation. As her daughter cradled her dead body in her arms, Nick went after the suspect.
He was located about two blocks away, and was winded from running.
As Nick confronted the suspect, who was much larger than the officer, he used what is known as “verbal judo” to obtain compliance. The suspect dropped the knife he was carrying and Nick was able to handcuff him.
Until an officer from another city showed up. As Nick attempted to Mirandize the suspect and get a statment, that policeman angrily smacked the suspect across the face.
“Big George” as the book calls him, headbutted the obnoxious officer and broke his nose. (Deservedly, we’re thinking.)
Nick was eventually able to get the suspect corralled and in custody as other units arrived. But it was an situation that should remind all officers that having a flashpoint temper is not the best method of police work.
After 9-11-2001- Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
From his deployment with government contractors, Nick lived through harrowing circumstances that parallel other stories you’ve heard over the last several years. Near misses with bombs. The loss of friends from attacks. Stomping large, hairy camel spiders and scorpions (shudder). He drove like a maniac in Kosovo while on security detail and had to relearn how to drive normally at home. He had near misses from corrupt police in Afghanistan. And then there was the post-traumatic stress from all of his experiences.
He finally transitioned to office work back home, and is still able to serve his country, and be close to his family.
Nick Cassel (whose call sign was “St Nick” overseas) has written an excellent book. His experiences may be yours, or may simply be entertaining reading. But the message behind it is one of #KeepTheFaith no matter what comes your way.
Featured photo of Nick Cassel provided by him
The link to his book on Amazon is here.