In 1985, the Army attempted to pay me to do nothing.

As part of the Army Reserves, I had joined the 353rd Psychological Operations Group at the Presidio San Francisco. The unit’s mission was devoted to winning the hearts and minds of the populace and psyching out the enemy during wartime. In many ways, psychological operations (PSYOPS) is similar to marketing: develop and deliver a message to convince people to take the desired action. The 353rd focused on the Pacific. I helped develop brochures, leaflets, and slide shows to combat communism in the Far East.

The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Buz Altshuler (who later retired as a major general), called me into his office one day and asked me if I wanted to participate ...

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