LEHI — Americans should prize living in a land of freedoms, says Chris Stewart, the author of a number of best-selling novels about America in peril.
"It wasn't by accident that we were placed here. What do we owe (this) country (for what we have)? What do we owe God?" Stewart said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News.
Stewart will be speaking on sacrificing for God and country at an author's luncheon at Thanksgiving Point in September.
"The United States is a special place," he said. "I became acutely aware of how special when I was a young lieutenant in the Philippines. I was over there in a very nice hotel and looked out the window. I could see barbed wire and a culvert. There were hundreds of people living down there, and I watched a young mother washing her two young daughters' hair in that dirty water. We have it so good, and not just for the economic freedoms.
"I actually think there is an enhanced sense of patriotism among young people. We have a renewed sense of purpose. I'm actually quite optimistic about it."
Stewart said he's often asked to speak on the topic of patriotism and love for country.
He believes that's largely because he's known for setting three world speed records in 1995 when he led a flight of two B-1s on a nonstop flight around the world. He received the MacKay trophy for the "most significant aerial achievement of the year."
He's also known for writing about significant, pertinent issues.
"My last book, 'The Fourth War,' was taken from a tiny blurb I read in a newspaper about whether Pakistan's warheads were secure. Reviewers have said my books are stories taken from today's headlines," Stewart said.
Stewart's books — military techno-thrillers by genre — generally deal with an impending crisis for the United States and the resolution. They're rich in details that he actually has to pass by security officials so he doesn't reveal too much information.
In addition to being an author and record-setting jet pilot, Stewart is president and CEO of The Shipley Group, a nationally recognized consulting and training company. He is also a member of the Renaissance Organization, a private group of leaders from across the globe who meet to explore the "Renaissance spirit."
He served for 14 years as a pilot in the United States Air Force, flying bombers and rescue helicopters. During his career, Stewart was awarded several significant flying decorations, including the Tactical Aircrew of Distinction Award and Air Force Air Medal.
His books have been selected by the Book of the Month Club and published in 12 countries. He has been a guest editor for the Detroit News, commenting on matters of military readiness and national security.
He and his wife are the parents of six children and live in Utah.
If you go . . .
What: Garden Luncheon Series, featuring Chris Stewart
Where: Thanksgiving Point Gardens Garden Room
When: 11 a.m., Sept. 9
Cost: $18.50 per person, available at the Show Barn box office