Arts and Entertainment

Marysville vet shares stories of service in Int'l Police

Frank Morse reads from his book,
Frank Morse reads from his book, 'Can You Help Me Find My Friend?' about his time in the International Police in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Marysville Library Aug. 2.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — What began as a way for a Marysville man to share his life with loved ones has become his means of highlighting global issues for a broad audience.

Under the pen name Frank Morse, he's written three books about his time in the International Police, covering stints in Bosnia and Herzegovina, East Timor and Kosovo, but he began writing only after he left the International police and returned to the military.

"I was working Army EOD [Explosive Ordinance Disposal] when I discovered I had cancer in both kidneys," said Morse, who was sent home in 2008 to put his affairs in order. "I wanted my sons to know what I'd done during the years that I was away."

What started as eight stories grew into 176, and he soon found himself beating his six-month life expectancy, so he decided to shop around his first collection of short stories, "Can You Help Me Find My Friend?"

With two more books under his belt, and a third on the way, Morse donates portions of proceeds to fellow "wounded warriors" — he was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam — and to families in need he encountered during his tours of duty.

"Nobody really knows what the International Police does," Morse said. "I don't need the glory, but the folks I worked with, they're unsung heroes."

During an Aug. 2 reading of his first book to Marysville Library patrons, Morse explained that the International Police work in conjunction with the military and the native populations of countries that are striving to transition from totalitarian governments to democracies.

"Our job is to try and work ourselves out of a job," said Morse, who worked with 47 other nations in Bosnia. "I had the honor of serving with some of the finest police in the world."

While many of Morse's anecdotes were amusing, he also shared a harrowing experience of having his house in Bosnia shot at in the middle of the night, and emphasized that combatting human trafficking was one of the most important missions of his time in the International Police.

"I was able to lead one of the first successful raids on a human trafficking market in Bosnia," Morse said. "These people had everything taken away from them and slipped through the cracks of humanity. And it's not just overseas. There are tens of thousands of trafficking victims right here in America."

Helping to affect change in other countries has made Morse all the more passionate about making a difference at home, and encouraging others to do the same.

"You have influence in your own sphere," Morse said.

For more information, log onto Morse's website at http://frankmorse.tateauthor.com.

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