Readers of the book, “What Now, Knucklehead: Memoirs of an Army Knucklehead” may eventually come to realize that the author, Raymond Jones, is the chief knucklehead in the book.
To use a non-Army title, Jones could be called Captain Knucklehead.
“When you read the book, you realize I am the knucklehead that did these things,” Jones said.
As the title suggests, humor plays a huge part in the telling of the stories.
But, he added, “Nobody’s the idiot of their own story. In the story, I’m the hero.”
The book is available online through Amazon.com, and is now in stock in Glen Rose at Storiebook Cafe ($19.95).
The book's teaser on Amazon.com describes it as “The life and times of a soldier who enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard at the young age of 17 and ended up retiring from active duty 25 years later… Love, hate, ups and downs all told with the humorous charm of this country boy turned soldier. This is the first half of his journey…”
Jones, the 47-year-old son of Hank and Deedee Jones of Glen Rose, was a 25-year Army combat veteran. He was deployed three times to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.
He had plenty of experience telling stories before deciding to put them into book form.
“I grew up in a family where storytelling was the way we passed on knowledge,” said Jones, who recently signed copies of his book at his parents’ business, Century 21 Quad J Realty, in Glen Rose.
Jones said his father, who was born in Glen Rose, served for 24 years in the Army.
“We moved all over the world — Germany, Japan,” Jones said.
He was a high school junior when the family moved to Glen Rose, and graduated from Glen Rose High School in 1990.
That storytelling habit he learned growing up continued in situations such as when he was on watch during the third shift — when falling asleep was not an option.
“One way to stay awake was to tell stories,” Jones said. “I would bring a computer in and write as I would recall them.”
When he began to recall some of the experiences he had in the Army, it occurred to him that there were plenty of stories worth telling.
When he was a lieutenant, Jones said, he told his soldiers that he understood their plight, and decided that some day he would tell their stories “because nobody is going to believe this happened.”
Jones added that sometimes the stories would be, well, somewhat embellished.
“About every story has 80 percent truth to it,” he said, making a comparison to the sometimes questionable memories associated with telling big fish stories.
Jones said he had previously written and self-published a shorter book (136 pages), “FM 101, Knuckleheads: This Page Intentionally Left Blank.”
He was contacted about a year and a half later by Deeds Publishing, which led to the more recent 215-page book being completed and published.
He gave a shout-out to his brother, Hank Jones — an English professor at Tarleton State University — for the important job of helping him proofread the book.
Jones intends to write another book, which continues the fond look at Army knucklehead, “We Were Knuckleheads Once and Always.”
“It’s kind of a continuation of the first book,” he said. “I’m hoping to have it out in about a year.”
Jones said that when he was younger he found that he had a disorder that made it extremely difficult to absorb what he tried to read. But he found a way to overcome that and discovered a love for reading military history books. That opened a floodgate of reading desire.
“I read 52 books in one year,” he said.
Jones currently lives in Copperas Cove with his wife, Dallice, who was in the same graduating class at GRHS. They married in 1991.
He said they plan to move to Somervell County in the fall, and eventually build a house.