Many long-time SOFREP readers may not be aware of Nate, but he is one of our little gremlins behind the scenes. He has the painstaking task of copy-editing and proofreading an unending stream of articles written by professional knuckle-draggers with room-temperature IQs. That’s right, the military doesn’t really teach Rangers, Green Berets, SEALs, PJs, and MARSOC Marines the difference between than and then. That’s where Nate comes in. But he is also an accomplished writer in his own right, and I recently read his most recent novel “Cogar’s Crusade” on a long train ride. I highly recommend you guys take a look and tell us what you think!

Note: The following is an excerpt from SOFREP Editor Nate Granzow’s newest novel, “Cogar’s Crusade.” Until September 1st, all proceeds from the book’s sale go to the Red Circle Foundation, helping the families of fallen and wounded U.S. Special Operations heroes.

Synopsis: July 2013. Foreign correspondent Grant Cogar has gone missing and is presumed dead. His last known whereabouts: Aleppo, Syria. Another casualty lost to a brutal civil war already responsible for claiming over 100,000 lives. But when an anonymous message reaches Cogar’s editor with news of the reporter’s survival, his old friend and mentor decides to retrieve him. Only, Cogar doesn’t want to be saved.

Like a pile of decaying viscera, I sat, feet up, in my underwear, doing my best to fuse with the couch cushions as I watched the second cycle of the day’s news—or the third, I don’t remember. The news ticker scrolled past at a leisurely pace, teasing a story about a typhoon in Taiwan. The shades were drawn, the apartment silent apart from the whir of a neighbor’s vacuum on the floor beneath mine. Wherever my pants were, inside the back right pocket was a lonely, twice-folded twenty-dollar bill and a stack of credit cards sticky with debt.

In the fridge rested two cans of cheap beer and a half-eaten slice of pork roast my elderly neighbor had insisted I take two days before. It had a smell I didn’t trust. The geriatric, not the pork. I was ten pounds overweight, muscles and mind atrophied, coming down from a brief and unsatisfying caffeine high, feeling the sweat trickle down my bare chest and wondering if the air-conditioning unit duct taped to the window frame would run if I could afford to plug it in.

My apartment, that one familiar anchor in my otherwise chaotic life, had begun to close in on me. It had developed a dustiness without being dirty, a solitude without being uninhabited. It gave off the same sort of feeling one might get upon entering a derelict log cabin, a cast iron pan still suspended over a fire gone cold, a book left open on the table, boots by the door. All the inviting warmth of a stage set wheeled behind the curtain and left in the dark. Maybe I should get a cat.

Two prosaic, local government-watchdog-type articles I had no ambition to finish sat half-written on my laptop: One, on hold until my FOIA request got fulfilled, was an investigation into a privacy breach at the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The other, a wandering piece with an uninspired lede and a dearth of credible sources, was about railway transportation of hazardous waste. Better prospects had failed to materialize, and it didn’t look like any worthwhile assignments were on the horizon.

I finally convinced myself to go to the kitchen to reheat another cup of coffee in the microwave. I would have preferred whiskey. Today was the perfect sort of day to drink oneself into a state of drooling, passed-out-on-a-park-bench narcosis, but the kitchen cabinets were as empty as my wallet. Haphazardly flipping through the pile of mail on my kitchen table, I searched for an invite to some press event or grand opening that might have an open bar. I’d dust off a tux if it meant access to someone else’s liquor cabinet. Those invites usually ended up pinned to the refrigerator and forgotten about. But the fridge was bare, the stack of mail empty of anything but solicitations and overdue bills.