A Tale of Two Titles: Triumph or Trump?

by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck

Choosing a title for a book is tricky. Designing the book cover is another matter.

Our first book, Triumph Over Terror, has just gotten a new cover. Look at cover 1 and  cover 2. Can you see why we changed it?

Cover 1                                                  Cover 2

Author Bob Ossler walked into a bookstore/candy store in touristy Matlache, Florida (The Fudge Factory) where our book is prominently displayed for browsers. Who can beat that combination?

The bookstore owner reported hearing these comments  from store visitors.

“TRUMP? Who wants to read a book about Donald Trump?”

“Or Trump? I want/don’t want to read a book about that president.”

We wrote our book before our country’s love/hate relationship began with Donald Trump. But now, people glance at our title and misread Triumph as Trump.

Those who pick up the book and glance through it find that Triumph Over Terror is a highly sensitive book about the victims and heroes of 9/11. Chaplain Ossler spent 45 days at Ground Zero ministering to and counseling family members who lost loved ones in the tragedy. He also spent countless hours caring for the heartbroken and weary firefighters, police, emergency workers, construction crews, and volunteers. No one who worked on the Pile at Ground Zero escaped the emotional pain caused by the 9-11 terrorists.

After hearing these Trump comments in several venues, we decided to ask our publisher, Scoti Springfield Domeij of Blackside Publishing, to change the cover. She agreed.

Our new cover features the authors names at the top, with the lead in, Ground Zero Chaplain, Bob Ossler. The cover uses smaller type and gives a better view of the new World Trade Center.

In two seconds people discern that Triumph Over Terror is about September 11 and the author is a chaplain. It is clearly not a political book, and it is definitely not about Donald Trump.

Did we accomplish our mission? What do you think?

Triumph Over Terror is listed on Amazon where it has received 53 five-star reviews. Here is one review:


August 14, 2016

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just finished this book and oh my goodness, I ran a whole gamut of emotions. Reading these inspiring stories brought tears to my eyes, smiles to my face, deep sadness and anger. Anger at the terrorists and anger for what the 1st. responders, volunteers, police, military, workers and firefighters were having to see and the horror they’ll never forget. It also brought joy to my heart for the courage of those men and women and for all the chaplains who spent so much time there bringing hope, comfort and love, also for sharing their unfailing faith prayers and the word of our loving God to everyone there. Thank you all. Triumph over Terror is a tremendous, heartwarming and powerful book that everyone should read.

You can read an excerpt of Triumph Over Terror here:

Excerpt: Triumph Over Terror  “Hard Shells, Soft Shells”

You can order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon here.

News on Upcoming ADD/ADHD book:

Ossler and Heck are now collaborating on a book about ADD/ADHD, attention deficit disorder. Look for more news on that topic on this website. Ossler tells stories about his years growing up and living with ADD in a pre-ADD world. A chance encounter with Dr. Edward Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder, helped Ossler identify the source of his life-long frustrations. With sheer willpower and thoughtful evaluation of his difficulties, he figured out strategies to help him cope at work, at home, and in life in general. He shares his strategies in this book.

Janice Hall Heck has over 40 years in the education world. More than half of those years were spent in classrooms for students with special needs. The remaining years were spent in educational administration as principal in Kenai, Alaska, and at Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong, China.

As expected, the title for this ADD/ADHD book is elusive and has not been finalized yet. We’ll keep you posted.






Posted in 9-11 Terrorist Attack, A.D.D./A.D.H.D., attention deficit disorder, Ground Zero | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Podcast Announcement: ADHD: You’ve Got My Attention!

Posted in A.D.D./A.D.H.D., attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Launch: ADHD: You’ve Got My Attention!

Cumberland County Community Church, Millville, NJ

Book launch.1 ADHD postcard front 8-26-19

ADHD: You’ve Got My Attention: Strategies for Meeting Life’s Challenges,

by Bob Ossler and Janice Heck,

will be released on September 20, 2019 at 7 PM at the Cumberland Country Community Church, 1800 E. Broad Street, Millville, New Jersey.


What’s the Most Important Thing About ADHD?

What’s It Like to Have ADHD?

Ways to Cope with ADHD.

Meet the authors.

Book talk.

Refreshments. Door Prizes.

Click here for more information:  https://amzn.to/2kporv5

Posted in A.D.D./A.D.H.D., attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

9-11 Brings Anxiety for Many of Us

Chaplain Bob Ossler at Ground Zero, NYC

Chaplain Bob Ossler at Ground Zero, NYC, after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Like all of you, 911 is really tough to reflect on each year. Those of us who worked on site at Ground Zero remember horrible pain, vulnerability, panic, anxiety, depression, and many other feelings that cause us great discomfort. It brings a few more hurtful memories as I briefly share this post.

My friend who helped at Ground Zero and at the Pentagon had originally implored me to go answer the ALL CALL for chaplains at the Pile. Over the years, I had worked side by side with this friend through thick and thin.

This friend later committed suicide. I knew him from military and we worked in California together. I’m reminded of his loving compassion that drew me to help at Ground Zero. Many friends and workers have died from the bad air and terrible working conditions at the pile. I still greatly mourn for them as I inevitably see reruns of that horrible day, and I’m forced to turn off the TV.

Chaplain Bob Ossler

Chaplain Bob Ossler at Ground Zero in New York City after the Terrorist attacks in September 11, 2001.

For me, 911 is a day of devotion and prayer. I lift up ALL EMS, FIRE and POLICE in prayer for their safety and security. Again, thanks to all who sent me loving wishes. God bless you. Bob Ossler Chaplain


Fifteen years after 9-11, Bob Ossler wrote about his experiences at Ground Zero in Triumph Over Terror.



Posted in 9-11 Terrorist Attack, American Tragedies, chaplain, September 11, firefighters, Grieving, Ground Zero, September 11 2001, Terrorist Attacks on U.S., Triumph Over Terror | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Retained in Second Grade: Undiscovered ADHD

Officially diagnosed with adult ADHD in my late 50s, I had wondering all my life what was wrong with me. Why was I so different from other people? Why did I have such trouble learning?

As an adult in my late 30s, I chanced upon WGN 720, Chicago, a talk radio interview with Dr. Edward Hallowell, author of Driven to Distraction. He described me to a T–and he had never met me. I was astounded. I bought his book, identified myself on almost every page, and sighed with relief. There was a name for my problem, and other people had the same difficulties.

Retained in second grade, long before ADHD became a commonly understood term, I

was humiliated. I can admit it now, but at the time, I was mortified by my failure to learn to read. Teachers thought I was a rude and naughty boy who daydreamed the day away instead of paying attention in class. My clever ideas got me into trouble almost every day. I reacted to the constant teasing about my poor reading, my gangly body, my moppy red hair, and my overabundance of freckles on every part of my body. I responded the only way I knew how–with a poke, a punch, a kick, or an insult. Playground incidents occurred daily. One frustrated teacher pronounced that I would be in jail by my teenage years.

The rest of my school years were not much better. The teasing continued, and although I stored the taunts in my head and heart, I learned to  outwardly ignore most of them. I developed a sensitive nature and became a champion for the underdogs of the world.

To be honest, I don’t know how I made it through high school, but I did. I met a few solid friends and caring teachers along the way, and that made a world of difference.

Despite my failures in school and my early career, I have been successful in life. One gift of ADHD is the ability to hyperfocus, and I used that ability to pursue a career in emergency medical technology and later pastoral ministry.

Now retired, I serve as associate pastor in a church in Boqueelia, Florida. My bigger mission to work with people going through tragic emergency situations. Being semi-retired, I have the flexibility to respond to emergency situations around the country. I have counseled brokenhearted people at Ground Zero after September 11 terrorist attacks, after hurricane and floods in New Orleans, shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Parkland High School, Pittsburgh synagogue, and in Virginia Beach. This has become my mission and passion in life.

Being retained in second grade seemed like the end of the world at the time, but over the long haul, that embarrassment contributed to the person that I am. In today’s educational climate, retention might not be considered for a boy like me. Individualized, focused attention from a caring adult would have made a major difference.

Read more about Bob Ossler’s journey with ADHD in https://amzn.to/2kporv5


Posted in A.D.D./A.D.H.D., attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have You Given Your Book Feet?

Marketing Christian Books

The newspaper article headlines read:

Fire chaplain drives 300 miles to leave crosses for Jacksonville victims

He’s left crosses at Ground Zero in New York City, in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Dallas after a gunman ambushed police officers, and most recently, after the school shooting in Parkland.

Have you given your book feet?

Another headline reads:

Chaplain, Impressed By Pittsburghers’ Strength, Offers Comfort At Synagogue Memorial

With a simple greeting and wearing a navy-blue coat that reads “Chaplain” across the back, Bob Ossler is a constant these days.

Triumph Over TerrorChaplain Bob is the author of Triumph Over Terror, an eyewitness account from a first responder at Group Zero on 9-11 that recounts the questions, fears, struggles, and sacrifices of the families and workers overwhelmed by despair. Bob knows how to give his book feet. Bob is a chaplain with a heart for victims of terror. He lives out what he believes and his book goes…

View original post 367 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Acts of Kindness Can YOU Offer Those Who Mourn?

By Janice Hall Heck with Chaplain Bob Ossler

Who answers the questions that erupt after an incomprehensible tragedy? “Where is God?” “Why me?” Why did this happen?” One answer is chaplains. Chaplains of all faiths serve on the front lines of critical incidents as first responders in crises caused by terrorist attacks, natural disasters, fires, and other emergencies. While remaining true to their faith, chaplains commit to offering compassionate care to anyone in need, regardless of religious preference.

Chaplains and religious leaders counsel people who grieve, but close friends can also fulfill this role. Other friends may offer temporary comfort, but long-term, trusted friends make the difference between emotional survival and clinical depression. What you say is critical to a person who suffers. This excerpt from Triumph Over Terror, chronicling Chaplain Bob Ossler’s experiences at Ground Zero on The Pile after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, offers ways you can support those struggling with trauma and loss in the short and long term.

Sit and wait. When a grieving person cannot bear comfort, you must sit and wait, just as Job’s friends sat with him and waited seven days, saying nothing, before speaking to him about his suffering. (Job 1:13) When Job managed to speak, he lamented: “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas. . . .”(Job 6:2-3) “My eyes will never see happiness again.” (Job 7:7)

Chaplain Bob Ossler in Baton Rouge after police shootings offering comfort and prayer for brokenhearted people.

Chaplain Bob Ossler in Baton Rouge after police shootings offering comfort and prayer for brokenhearted people.

Listen from the heart. Our first charge is to understand that grieving is complex and to listen carefully when the grieving person speaks. The grieving person may repeat the same stories over and over, or describe in detail the sequence of the illness, or the accident, or murder, or actions causing the death. It’s normal for these stories to echo constantly through the griever’s mind.

Give the gift of time. Understand that the person who mourns cannot respond in normal ways. Extreme mood swings, confusion, and sudden fits of crying are normal. And remember, they will never be the same person they were before their loved one’s death.

Respect the grieving person’s right for privacy. Let them grieve in the manner they choose, but do not forget them. Even though they may seem to reject it, they still need your comfort and compassion. Invite them to participate in your social events. Take them to lunch. Drop by to see how they’re faring.

Offer prayers for comfort. Some may be ready for prayer; others may not be. Be sensitive. The pain of grieving often blocks a person from hearing words of comfort. Be patient. Pray silently when the grieving person is not ready for oral prayer.

Be a friend now—and for the long run. After emotional events such as the death of a loved one, relationships and old friendships sometimes become strained. Other family members and bystanders simply can’t understand the depths of emotional pain the grieving person suffers. They feel uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say, so they stay away. Be courageous and spend quality time with the suffering person.

Share memories about their loved one. During the memorial service, family and friends tell tearful stories of their memories of the deceased person. However afterward, people rarely mention the name of the deceased for fear of arousing emotional pain. Yet, not hearing the name causes equal pain. Grievers crave hearing their loved one’s name and yearn to hear more stories about their lives. They want to remember the details of their life—not forget them.

Offer practical acts of kindness. Help the grieving person face each new task. Help them make funeral arrangements, pay bills, do laundry, cook, and clean. All these tasks are insurmountable at first, but a little help from a friend shrinks the tasks to manageable size.

Send cards, but add a personal touch. Circle or underline key words to show you’ve

Photo by Mary Eble

Photo by Mary Eble

carefully selected the card. Add a personal note. Send “Thinking of you” greetings from time to time. People who grieve often think their friends have forgotten them. Your card or note reassures them that they’re not forgotten. Send index cards with encouraging Bible verses with your card.

Provide a healthy meal. Keep in mind that not everyone likes tuna-noodle casseroles or pasta dishes.

Chaplain Bob Ossler. Walking my friend to a doctor's appointment in Philadelphia

Walking my elderly friend to his doctor’s appointment in Philadelphia. Chaplain Bob Ossler

Offer transportation to appointments. Grief consumes the brain’s resources and focus. Driving in traffic adds to their stress. Transport them to their appointments, and then treat them to a meal. They need a break and some company.

Encourage grieving people to seek community support groups or individual counseling. The grieving person may benefit from counseling or connecting with others who experienced a similar loss. When appropriate, ask if they’ve considered talking to a counselor or pastor, or joining a grief recovery group. Provide names and addresses of counselors or grief groups obtained from people who’ve experienced the same type of loss.

Suggest support groups. Griefshare (griefshare.org/hope) or TAPS (www.taps.org) help mourners identify with others going through the same struggles.

Grieving is a lonely process, but family members, friends, caregivers, and others can offer comfort and restore hope in the lives of those who have lost loved ones.

Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck have coauthored Triumph Over Terror, a book about Chaplain’s Ossler’s experiences at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Posted in Grieving | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Chaplain Reflects on the Parkland School Shooting on the One-Year Anniversary

By Chaplain Bob Ossler

Valentine’s Day represents romance and love for couples—or lack of—for anxious, lonely singles. However, for parents, family, and friends of the 17 victims (14 students, 3 staff) of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shooting in 2018, Valentine’s Day represents the loneliness, loss, and horrible trauma of the first anniversary of those they loved and lost.

The day of the shooting, a Cape Coral, FL firefighter buddy called and told me the news. “Chaplain Bob, there’s been a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Are you going?”

“I’m on my way,” I replied. I tossed my Bible, a box of 9-11 Ground Zero crosses, and some clothes into the backseat of my car, and headed to Parkland, a town of just over 31,000 people just 3 1/2 hours away. My mission: to show support for the people of the community, to bring comfort and love, to share a hug and a prayer, or just be there to listen, to be a shoulder to lean on. It’s so important to listen to those who grieve.  

I met a couple where I stopped for coffee and asked, “Can you give me the directions to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?”

They replied, “Our child goes there.” They talked about their uneasiness about the situation and the terrible loss of young lives. “Our hearts ache for the families who lost children. Now, how can we send our child back to that school. It has been violated in the worst possible way. It will always be a crime scene for us. It will never be the same. The students will fear going to school.”

I agreed with their sentiments and said, “I’m a chaplain. Can I pray with you?” They nodded and leaned to me. We huddled, arms around each other, as I prayed and asked God to comfort them and the families and students of Parkland.

After I prayed with them, they thanked me and hugged me like I was a long-lost friend. I drove to the school, humbled by this couple’s pain, anticipating the grief that would be written on the faces of each person I’d meet.

At the high school, I showed my credentials (not just anyone can show up at a crime scene), walked on site, and talked with officers. They, too, were overwhelmed with sorrow over the senseless shooting and the tragic loss of life. This hit too close to home for them. “These were our sons and daughters.”

Now, one year later, when I think back to Parkland, a couple of things stand out in my heart and mind. School buses ringed the crime scene. In my childhood, school buses were symbols of safety. A yellow bus picked me up from the safety of my home and transported me to a safe school. The bus driver was kind, and students talked and laughed with friends with no worries in the world.

But it was different at Parkland. School buses formed a tight circle to block the view of an awful crime scene, keeping the anxious public at a distance. The big yellow symbol no longer represented safety but became a barrier. How things have changed since the innocence of my childhood.

In the school yard, I witnessed the trauma in people’s lives: Students and families could not be comforted.

Parkland, FL. 9-11 Ground Zero crosses hang on a fence near Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in memory of 17 students killed. Bob Ossler photo.

Parkland, FL. 9-11 Ground Zero crosses hang on a fence near Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in memory of 17 students killed. Bob Ossler photo.

Disbelief and sorrow spilled over in tears as parents hugged their children and students embraced classmates. Dozens of news reporters clamored for interviews. People made political statements to the press. Emergency vehicles cluttered the area. It was not a peaceful scene.

Down the street a short distance from the school, I hung 17 crosses for the victims on a fence. The media lined up to interview me at the fence.  They wanted to hear my reaction to the pain and suffering I saw at Parkland.

Since Parkland, I regret to say that I’ve gone to three more shooting events to serve the traumatized—Jacksonville, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Sebring, FL. Far too often, emergency workers find themselves on assignment after assignment covering shootings, mass murder, and those left behind. They do their best to manage the strain and put aside their memories, but some do suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Memories haunt them for years.

Our lives are different now. We feel the pain of those who experience loss at these shootings. We wonder, “When will it end?” In the end, many of us turn to our faith and prayer for comfort, and we reach out to comfort those who grieve.

Air Force veteran, Bob Ossler, author of Triumph Over Terror, is no stranger to offering comfort in

Chaplain Bob Ossler at Parkland, FL 2018 shooting site

Chaplain Bob Ossler at Parkland, FL. 2018 shooting site

the midst of tragedy. Chaplain Ossler served five tours of duty at Ground Zero after 9/11; responded after Hurricane Katrina by serving as a triage paramedic and chaplain in the Superdome in 2005; offered comfort to the families of the Hotshot firefighters team who lost 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire in 2013 in Arizona;  prayed with and comforted those traumatized by the back-to-back  ambush killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge in 2016. Most recently he served in the aftermath of the 2018 synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh, PA.

Posted in American Tragedies, School shootings | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment