Hyperfocus on Mission to Defeat ADD/ADHD

Good morning my friends.
Let’s face it, life just gets way too busy for all of us. Looking for jobs, taking calls, taking

Bob Ossler Chaplain

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

care of family, trying to eat right. There’s always something going on. It never stops.

          As Janice Hall Heck and I work on our rough draft of our book on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), I realize how much I miss the simple things in life. Like taking my old buddy to a medical appointment in the heart of Philly.
          Growing up with ADD in a PreADD world was truly a challenge for me. Concentration was not in my vocabulary. Teachers thought I was a daydreamer and a space cadet. They often played “gotcha” when they knew I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on in class. Classmates joined in the fun and laughed at my embarrassment. Name-calling after class became the norm.
          But what was going on in class was BORING. My daydreams were far more interesting–I was off saving worlds from destruction, rallying my troops to defend the nation, simply naming picture clouds in the sky, or playing my drums and snares with the Beatles live in concert.
          My ADD and listening problems still occur today as an adult, but I’ve trained myself to hyperfocus and take on the challenges of my ministry. Connecting with people with love and kindness and God’s love is my mission. People touch my heart when they share their troubles with me. I honor and show respect for them with my full attention. I can do nothing less.
          Our yet-untitled ADD/ADHD book will teach others who struggle HORRIBLY with life’s distractions. I show situations in which ADD addled me, and how I coped with each battle as it presented itself.
          Even now, there are days that I just get so frustrated and caught up in what needs to be done first that I wallow in inaction.  But then I focus on my ministry and my purpose in life, and that keeps me sane. Other people’s needs come first.
Let’s reach out to others. God bless your day.
          Read Triumph Over Terror, by Chaplain Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck, a multi-award-winning book about Chaplain Ossler’s interactions with suffering people in New York City’s Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. His stories will touch your heart and fill you with compassion for those emergency services workers, search and rescue workers, recovery workers, construction crews, and volunteers who served there in impossible conditions. #NeverForget this time in US History. Read the message of hope in this book.


Twitter: @bobosslerchaplain    @janiceheck

Facebook: Bob Ossler Chaplain    Janice Hall Heck

Website: http://www.bobosslerchaplain.com


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Excerpt from Triumph Over Terror: “Sweeper Man”

Multiple award-winning, Triumph Over Terror, by Ground Zero Chaplain and Janice Hall Heck, recounts Ossler’s interactions with heartbroken victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Used by permission of Blackside Publishing.

Sweeper Man’s Hopeless Task

“I must lose myself in action, lest I whither in despair.”  –Alfred Lord Tennyson

Soon after our introduction to St. Paul’s Chapel [where volunteers were housed], another volunteer offered to take us on an orientation tour of Ground Zero.

view of pile

As I walked with about twenty other chaplains toward the smoky, smoldering, stories-high wreckage of buildings and souls, we passed a fatherly-looking figure pushing a long-handled broom. A dirty sweatshirt barely covered his protruding belly. White chalky ash shrouded his pant legs–the pulverized cement of the collapsed buildings intermingled with ashes of cremated bodies.

Engulfed in the stench of death, this man swept and pushed, swept and pushed at piles of dust-fine ash and dirt, twisted metal and broken glass, chunks of concrete, tangled wires, and papers blown from the demolished towers. Debris stretched as far as the eye could see, but Sweeper Man swept and pushed, swept and pushed.

St Paul's church yard after 9-11

St. Paul’s Chapel with trash from collapse of Twin Towers

To restore order to his street, one man faced the greatest physical and emotional challenge of his lifetime. He picked up his broom to do something, anything, no matter how small.

Swoosh, swoosh. Swoosh, swoosh. A symbol of hope. He pushed his long-handled broom slowly but steadily, shoving away the rubble and ash of shattered buildings and lives.

As our group of chaplains walked by on Sweeper Man’s newly created path, he stepped aside. We greeted him, and he nodded. After we passed him, I looked back. He leaned on his broom, lowered his head, and began to cry. In that overwhelming mess, he looked so forlorn trying to clear his patch of the city he loved. Seeing him weep over his broom broke my heart.

I walked back and embraced him. He grabbed onto me and sobbed on my shoulder. “I’m exhausted from trying to clean up this mess. It’s hopeless. Hopeless. Hopeless.”

I hugged him harder and complimented him on his nice, clean area, and how much I appreciated the time and effort he invested into clearing the trash and junk away. Before I moved back to the group of chaplains, I offered to share a prayer with him. He accepted, so we prayed together and asked God for strength in these terrible times.

Sweeper Man thanked me for the hug, the prayer, and the encouragement. After I turned to catch up to my group, he went back to work with his broom to make his path wider–sweeping, sweeping,

A tragedy of unspeakable proportions left his little corner of New York City totally trashed, but he persevered in his work.

Steady. Reliable. Crushed in spirit, but buoyed with enough encouragement to begin again, to take one more step, to push the broom one more time, to sweep away at the ruins threatening to bury all hope.

I was glad I’d turned back to acknowledge his pain. After all, that’s why I left home and journeyed to New York City: to bring a touch of God’s love to the brokenhearted.

I remembered something Henri Nouwen wrote in his book, The Wounded Healer. “One eye movement or one handshake can replace years of friendship when a man is in agony. Love not only last forever, it needs only a second to come about.”

Even though I may never see Sweeper Man again, for one moment in time, our lives connected, and God’s love touched us both. I’ll never forget him.

Sweeper Man reminded me of an important lesson that day: No matter the job, every single person who works in disaster cleanup is important and needs to be appreciated and recognized for their effort.

tot-new-cover-5-2018IBAfinalistJPEGsmallbookfest finalist

Order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon

Posted in 9-11 Terrorist Attack, American Tragedies, Ground Zero, Terrorist Attacks on U.S., Triumph Over Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One World Trade Center

Here are some beautiful pictures of the new World Trade Center in New York City. It replaces the Twin Towers that were destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001. Read Triumph Over Terror, a book about Chaplain Bob Ossler’s interactions with families of victims of 9/11, emergency service workers, construction workers, and volunteers. This book just won recognition as a finalist in the International Book Competition.

The World Is a Book...

The building itself is 1,368 feettall, the same height as the North Tower that fell during the 9/11 attacks. And if you add the height of its decorative spire, 1 WTC measures 1,776 feet.

The construction started on April 27, 2006; it opened on November 3, 2014.

According to the Architecture Digest, “It will also be one of the world’s greenest. Much of the materials used in its construction come from postindustrial recycled materials, and more than three-quarters of its waste will be recycled.

There are also rainwater-collecting tanks that will help cool the tower and irrigate landscaping; such innovations will reduce water consumption by about 30 percent beyond what is saved in a typical water-efficient building in New York City.”

The First of 400 Oak Trees were Planted at the Memorial in 2010 summer in the eight-acre plaza, part of a memorial to honor the victims of the…

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Grief Can Be an Awful but Powerful Motivator

Buried memories of tragedy resurface for many of us each Memorial Day. I flash back to Yarnell, Arizona in 2013 when nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters, ranging in age from 21 to 43, were trapped and killed in a wildfire.


Granite Mountain Hot Shots

On June 29, 2013, lightning hit chapparel (scrub oak and dense brush) in a drought-stricken area near Yarnell, Arizona. By June 30, the fire had spread to over 2000 acres of high desert,  mountainous terrain. High temperatures (101 degrees) and a surplus of dry brush encouraged the rapid speed of the fire which raged until July 10 when it was declared 100 percent contained.

Over 400 firefighters were deployed to fight this out-of-control wildfire. Nineteen Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighters, men specially trained to fight fires in the most difficult situations, deployed to the burn area. Erratic winds and thunderstorms caused the fire to suddenly change direction, putting the Hotshots in immediate danger. With no time to escape, they hunkered down in their emergency fire shelters. Unfortunately these shelters were not enough to withstand the intense flames, heat, and lack of oxygen. The fire overtook the men and took their lives.

Soon after, a previously scheduled town meeting turned into the first memorial service. As a chaplain for the nearby Mayer Fire Department, I was asked to offer a few comments and a prayer.

I sat and reflected on the events and the firefighters who lost their lives. In a small

19 firefighters - bob at memorial service -hotshots

At memorial service

community, everyone knows everyone. So many people around me lost loved ones in that fire.The emotional pain in the room was overwhelming. We were all heartbroken, and my emotions got the best of me. I had nowhere to hide to compose myself, I had to suck it up and go on with many others that night.

I promised myself after that tragedy that I would never let a public servant, fire, police or emergency services worker go without special prayer as they head into danger and risk their lives.  The painful, raw emotions of that night by everyone present at that meeting will stay with me forever.

In honor of these brave firefighters, the community developed and dedicated the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Park in 2016. Visitors can walk to the trails to visit and remember the sacrifices of those who died there.

#NeverForget the brave firefighters, emergency service workers, and military who serve us and our country. Thank them for their service at every opportunity.


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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.






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Cute Dogs or American Heroes? Who Wins?

by Bob Ossler Chaplain and Janice Hall Heck

Three days remain in the Christian Indie Awards Book contest  (www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/)  Deadline March 31.

Will dog stories win first place in this contest?

best-new-books-032618 --dogs

Our book, Triumph Over Terror, has been in two book contests (Best Books, 2017 and Readers’ Choice, 2017), and we have placed 2nd in each one (in nonfiction category) after books about dogs.

I love dogs. Our family always had dogs as we were growing up, and I had one when I was a young adult. They are great companions who cheer up people on their worst days and add further joy on good days. Dogs give unconditional love. Dogs are heroes in their own right.

Now we are in our third contest, The Christian Indie Awards (Christian Small Publishers Association), and sure enough, there is a dog book in our Nonfiction-Biography category!

Please help us honor our American heroes by making our book, Triumph Over Terror, a first place winner.

Click here to vote for Triumph Over Terror.

Category:  NonFiction: BIOGRAPHY

Triumph Over Terror is about our American heroes who worked to clear the rubble after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Their stories will touch your heart and remind you that our country is great because of those brave service providers who worked under the most dreadful conditions to restore hope to New York City and to all Americans. Many of them suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

click here to vote for Triumph Over Terror   www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/

Deadline: March 31.

(The “18votes” in the link means 2018 voting, not the number of votes we have. This is a blind contest, so we cannot tell how many votes we have at this point.)Stan Honda Associated PressClick here to vote:  www.christianpublishers.net/18votes/            Deadline is March 31

Click here to order Triumph Over Terror from Amazon.

Click here to go to Janice Heck’s blog.

Thanks from both of us. We appreciate your vote. We know some of you have voted already, so thanks to you also.

Chaplain Bob Ossler    Twitter @bobosslerchaplain  Facebook: Bob Ossler Chaplain

Janice Hall Heck           Twitter @janiceheck                 Facebook: Janice Hall Heck


Posted in 9-11 Terrorist Attack, Book Contests, Ground Zero, Honor Our Veterans, Triumph Over Terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

God Bless Our Veteran: John Arens

What an honor to be pictured with 91-year-old retired Navy Captain John Arens at the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library in Cape Coral, Florida.

Every Tuesday, the SWF Military Museum offers lunch for veterans and family members. Up to 200 attendees enjoy the lunch and camaraderie each week.

Bob with vet in white suit- mem museum

Captain Arens, a Toledo, Ohio native, born in 1926,  has an impressive military career.

He first served in the Merchant Marines near the end of WWII. As a teenager he joined this non-military organization which protects transportation of commercial goods and passengers during peacetime. However, in times of war, Merchant Marines can provide assistance to the US Navy.

While in the Merchant Marines, he was drafted into the US Army and served as an Airborne Ranger in the Korean War with the Army Rangers 187th Airborne.

In the 1960s, he trained for and became a Navy SCUBA diver and worked for a number of years in the Arctic. After that, he skippered a Navy spy ship during the Cold War years.

He retired at age 59 from military service in 1987, but the Navy called him up in 1991, along with other retired captains, to serve in Iraq’s “Operation Desert Storm.”

John Arens has stories to tell about his time in the Merchant Marines, the Army, and the Navy. His stories are the stuff I see in the movies.

God bless you, sir, and thank you for your patriotic services.

If you want to go to the lunch for veterans, show up at the museum, sign-in, and enjoy lunch. If you have a group, call first. Look for the man in dress whites and shake his hand. He has served our country well. And don’t forget to visit the museum. It is one of the best in the country.

Bob at veterans museum cape coral

Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library 

4820 Leonard Street, Cape Coral Florida 239-541-8704.

While you are there, look in the September 11th exhibit. You will find my bookCC Veterans Museum 1 TOT in display (coauthored with Janice Hall Heck) Triumph Over Terror about my experiences serving as chaplain at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Thanks, Bob Ossler, Chaplain

You can find me on Facebook at Bob Ossler Chaplain

and on Twitter at @bobosslerchaplain

You can order Triumph Over Terror on Amazon.

Article by Bob Ossler and Janice Hall Heck




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