Submitted by: John Witzel
Senior Master Sergeant Robert Madden is a retiring U.S. Air Force Combat Controller serving his last assignment in Colombia, South America, training the Colombian military, national police, and DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) agents in air assaults and establishing helicopter landing zones in the thick jungles of Colombia to fight the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). While serving in his last engagement with the FARC, he is wounded and is decorated for his valor. Madden returns home to retire and continue on with his plans to be a school teacher upon retirement--Troops to Teachers.
His past record of fighting terrorist in the Middle East and Africa is well known amongst many terrorist groups to a point where they would like to take revenge on Madden for his duties in controlling drone strikes against terrorist training camps in the past.
After retirement, Madden's teaching skills are so impressive to his school and school administration that he is offered the opportunity to earn a doctorate degree in education from Stanford University in California. While in route, he stops at an Indian Casino in New Mexio for lunch and encounters the local drug lord. A confrontation develops where Madden has no choice but accept a plea deal from corrupt legal and law enforcement county officials. Madden is to teach school at a local, impoverished rural school for one year or spend three years in the state prison. Madden agrees to teach at the school and confronts the most challenging and impoverished schools he has ever experienced.
The dedicated teacher that Madden is, he works hard to get the students achieving and gives them HOPE. All of the while, the local drug lord has a score to settle with Madden.
The ending is action packed with many, many surprises.
The story of Madden teaching school in Tres Rios is tribute to all military members who retire and go on and teach school. Also, it highlights many of the challenges and frustrations challenging our public school teachers today.
Please enjoy reading "Saving Tres Rios."
Growing up in the oil fields, John Witzel served as a navigator in the Air Force and was a volunteer in the Iranian Rescue Attempt in 1980. Appointed and served as Director of the SAC Airborne Command Post, Witzel retired after 22 years of service. Following the service, he served as an accountant at a national bank and subsequently asked to return to the military as a defense contractor/consultant. Currently, Witzel is serving his 12th year as a School Board Director and YMCA Board Member.