E. D. Erker

            E.D. Erker has traveled the globe, emersing herself in the cultures of the people. From Panama and Mexico, to Turkey, Germany, India, the tops of the Hymalayas in Nepal and countless other countries. It was when her boots hit the ground in Africa, that her heart sang for the people, and this courageous warrior woman was at last in her element. Traveling down crock and hippo infested waters of the Zambezi by two man canoe; witnessing the effects of poaching personally in Zimbabwe to nearly die from West Nile Virus. Erker spent joyous time living among the Himba Tribe on the border of Namibia and Angola, helping in their efforts to thwart the building of a Hydro-electric dam destined to destroy their tribes.

Canvasing thousands of miles of dry desert, by cessna, by a personal 4×4, sometimes even on foot, through S. Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Swaziland, and to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. As she trecked, she instructed her young African friends in the art of Krav Maga and other combat skills, so that they might better protect themselves when they returned to the Central African Rebublic, and the threats of Kony. By 1700′ in altitude, they were chanting ‘Mara Camba Simba’,(Strong like lion).

The Angolan witch doctor, who cared for the Himba villages, honored Erker in several of his tribal ceremonies, spitting into her face and blessing her. She then received the name ‘Bembee’ from the Chief, which means Strong Woman.

Returning to the states, to her family in her native Colorado, and to her beloved dog, Erker is spending her retirement writing, teaching Krav Maga techniques, Self Defense and weapons training for women. She is a welder and metal sculptor, and a happy grandma. Erker hopes to use her skills to raise awareness and offer programs for those who suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) and their affected families.

Thank you for visiting this page and supporting my efforts to not only raise awareness surrounding the trauma and effects associated with PTSD; or PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury, which I hope will become a recognized term). More importantly, it is my sincere hope that you will find inspiration and hope to seek out available treatment. I believe with every thread of my being that this does not have to own your life and the lives of those around you, and that you are a courageous warrior who deserves to live a bountiful, beautiful, healthy life that is free of this survivors guilt, and insatiable torment.

Although the stories, and messages are delivered through the eyes of the characters created by me for the book Orion One and its sequels; Their pain and trauma is based on real interviews, personal experiences, and deep connections I have made with some of the greatest men and women serving our country today, and in days past. You can take it to the bank that all of you, men and women have endured great trauma, coming home to virtually fail at transitioning to “normal life,” and nearly ending your own. Some of you have survived by seeking treatments. I say treatments, because the first one you choose may not give you the best results, yet you have to be persistent to slay this dragon. No war was won over night, nor the trauma you have endured  inflicted over night. You must have ongoing strength to battle day and night, until this no longer owns you. That day will come because you were born with a strong core, and your core existed long before this trauma took hold of you like a wildfire. You just need the tools to put out the fire, and professionals that are trained in this arena can and will help you.

Alcohol and drugs are like fuel on that fire. Self medicating, and mixing cocktails of prescriptions are a sure fire way to fail not only yourself, but those around you that at one time you took an oath to serve and protect. You wouldn’t rush a front line all fucked up on pills and drunk, because your fellow soldiers and Marines depend on you for their safety. Nor should you approach your healing of trauma without a clear head. Get your body strong, exercise, eat well, drink water, and clear your head by getting out into nature. Your body will begin the healing process and allow your mind a reprieve, while a medical community can support your treatment. Beyond all of these suggestions, do not go it alone. There are thousands of veterans returning from war afflicted and suffering just as you are. There is no shame in banding together and creating a team to battle this together. Allow for your family and friends to support you in your efforts. They feared every day, as you risked your life to protect theirs. They spent countless sleepless nights hanging on the hope that you would return home safely. They will support you. They do not want to lose you, they do not want to burry you.

I believe in your courage and your strength, and want you to know that as I grow as an author, and a trainer, and a public speaker; my efforts will be focused on giving a voice to this mission, and helping in any way that I can. I want you to live, and live joyfully.

Most Sincerely-

E. D. Erker

       Erker was about to leave for Central Africa when she contacted me through my website in April 2011. She was requesting I train her in Krav Maga (Hebrew: Close Combat), specifically unarmed hand-to-hand combat to enhance her training in preparation for this  assignment. I felt honored and a bit humbled- here was this bad-ass woman asking me to train her! She flew out to me in San Francisco and we trained in defending against unarmed attacks, knife, gun, stick and blunt object attacks. Erker was an astute student, both physically and mentally, and left a strong impression on me.Uncompromising with a forceful will, focused, strong and serious but with a selfless giving heart. Like the leading character in this story, she is woman who proves that anyone can rise above what they believe they are capable of-and that by challenging themselves physically and mentally they can indeed live a life beyond extraordinary. Her life experiences prove how training in Krav Maga can eliminate dangerous threats in everyday situations, as well as in extreme hostile arenas such as the Congo.

I’ve been teaching Krav Maga since 2006 as one of the few high-rank certified female instructors of the combat system in the United States. I recently asked her if she had used any of the training I taught her, and in the pages that follow she describes an encounter that demanded she overcome her natural impulse for compassion toward others in order preserve her life, protect her dignity, her possessions, and perform her duty. Erker’s inspiration to write this story comes from her love of humanity and belief of bonding with others to create a strong and loving universal community, and I am honored to call her my student-but more importantly my friend.

Nina Shirazi

http://www.kravmagacct.com/INSTRUCTOR.htmlKRAV INSTRUCTOR


Favorite food: “blueberry pie, peach pie, cherry pie, fried chicken in a cast iron skillet, Corned beef and cabbage with carrots and potatoes.”

Favorite weapon: “Sig .40 cal P229, and my Sig P226, but I also like all of my 1911 .45’s from a variety of manufacturers, and I am fond of my very impractical but pretty Colt .38 Super, it fires like a dream, has excellent balance, perfect grip for me, and I love the sights. The ammo can be tough to find.”

Relaxation: “Welding, fishing, exploring the mountains and fields with my dog, working in my biology lab, being outside as much as possible.”

Favorite movies: “The Usual Suspects, The Big Lebowski, The Reverant, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Lonesome Dove, Pulp Fiction.”

Favorite music: “I don’t really have favorites when it comes to music, I just know what I don’t like and avoid that. I do feel that music was really great from about Woodstock until 1989 and then it seemed to all go to crap.”

Editor’s Note:

There are certain events you don’t forget where you were when they happened. I had just sat down at a coffee shop in Nashville, Tennessee when I pulled out the first few draft chapters of Orion One from my tattered canvas bag and began reading, tuning out the acoustic guitar in the background. The first chapter was so riveting, and in some ways tragic, that I couldn’t hold back the tears streaming down my face. As I read on, engulfed in this incredible introduction to a Superhero protagonist we know as “G.I. Jane,” I experienced a plethora of emotions. Jane’s humor made me laugh so hard I nearly spit out my coffee. Her inner strength made me proud; so proud that I felt myself puffing up my own chest inadvertently. I didn’t even care what the people around me thought. I wanted to hand the book over to them and say, “Wow, you should really read this!” Hooked, I read on until I finished the first few chapters, determined to be a part of this journey with Orion One as editor and E.D. Erker’s “partner-in-crime.”

As I finished the book, I realized that Jane was incredibly multifaceted. I admired her guts, her raw nature, and her physical strength. While those qualities tend to be looked upon by society as “masculine,” Jane never tried to act like or be a man. She remained grounded in, yet struggled with, her femininity throughout the story. What I find most powerful is that her character encompasses what most people would consider a “man’s” world. Yet, she is the general managing a team of men of elite soldiers. She is above them in rank, but loves her team like a sister would love her brothers. In fact, she loves them so much she would die for them.

As a mother of two young daughters, I am dedicated to raising them to know themselves. To help them build their inner strength, learn how to say “no” (and forcefully), and to stand up for what they believe in. For me, simply knowing E.D. Erker and her activism for PTSD awareness, and becoming immersed in the characters of Orion One has strengthened me personally for that task. The world needs a strong female fighter, and one with the most enticing flaws you can imagine. Through Jane’s eyes, we learn not only what survival looks like, but also what thriving does.

Denise C. Powell, Editor