By Marc Schoder
Karen Alexander, a reading specialist from Portales is scheduled to have a short story about her husband, Portales physician Dr. Lonnie Alexander, and his experiences growing up.
The book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Creating a Better World” is scheduled to hit bookshelves Aug. 23 according to an e-mail from Bradley Winch, a publistist for the upcoming book.
“I found out the story would be published in a letter I received in June,” Alexander said.
Karen Alexander met her husband at Eastern New Mexico University after his return from Vietnam.
“I was touched that she did the story and surprised that she submitted it,” Dr. Alexander said.
According to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Web site (www.chickensoup.com), stories that are submitted have to be about the author or someone close to them and provoke emotion. The story has to start with action, and should include a problem or a situation. The last requirement for a story is that it has to be from the heart.
The couple was married in 1973.
“Lonnie was one of those who was one in a million,” said Alexander.
Alexander’s story talks about her husband’s upbringing in a small village in northern New Mexico and what he went through growing up.
“When Lonnie was 15 he joined a group called Moral Rearmament, which later became known as the group Up With People,” Alexander said.
The future Portales doctor packed his bags and spent the next five years traveling in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. During this time, Alexander lived with families from all of those nations, learned their customs, ate their food, and shared his dream of world peace.
Dr. Alexander said that he learned absolute moral standards from Up With People, including honesty and unselfishness, purity, love and his mission of world peace are what he learned while with Up With People.
When Alexander turned 18, he knew that it was his responsibility to register for the draft. In the story, Alexander registered for the draft at the American Embassy in the Belgium Congo. However, he did so as a consciencous objector.
“My basis (for registering in that manner) was because of my beliefs that I obtained from Up With People,” said Dr. Alexander.
That draft status was denied, and after an 18-month appeal process he was instead allowed to serve in the combat as a noncombatant MOS (military occupational specialty).
“I did not carry a weapon while in Vietnam,” he said, “which allowed me to carry more medical supplies.”
When Dr. Alexander returned from Vietnam, he went on to college then medical school. Alexander has been practicing medicine in Portales for more than 20 years.
According to the Web site, the book series began in 1990 when two motivational speakers, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, were asked to compile a book of stories they told during their speeches. They sought stories from other motivational speakers and had a panel select the top 101 entries.The first book in the series was published in 1993.