By Dan Thompson (IMCOM Europe)August 8, 2012
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Being an Army public affairs officer often means working irregular hours and constantly providing high-quality content for everything from newspapers to social media.
While it is a demanding, high visibility profession, most PAOs could not imagine serving our Nation any other way. But for one civilian public affairs officer at U.S. Army Garrison Benelux, keeping service members and their families informed in Belgium and the Netherlands is not enough. He reaches for the stars.
Keith Houin is a "purple" PAO: A retired Air Force noncommissioned officer now working as a U.S. Army civilian. In his spare time, he is also one of the hosts of the Science Fiction Show, a weekly podcast about everything science fiction that has been downloaded more than 10,000 times since May 2011, according to Houin.
The Science Fiction Show is an outlet for Houin and his fellow hosts Jason Tudor and Michael Wistock to share their passion for all-things science fiction in film, television, books and other things. It has also become a way for Houin to share his love of science fiction, public relations, and charity.
Keith and his fellow co-hosts, all Air Force veterans, have released a compilation of sci-fi stories in a book called "Battlespace" to raise money for the charity Warrior Cry Music Project.
"Choosing the right charity was a must," Houin said. "We wanted to donate the money from the book to the right cause, and helping wounded veterans was first on our mind. The Warrior Cry Music Project was high on our list and we're excited to be able to do something with these folks."
The Warrior Cry Music Project helps wounded warriors in the Washington D.C. area by donating musical instruments and lessons in a form of music therapy.
Houin says that 100 percent of the profits from the Battlespace book, which can be ordered online as a paperback or e-book, will be donated to Warrior Cry. The first donation is scheduled to be made Aug. 10, according to the Science Fiction Show Facebook fan page.
"This has been a lot of fun to create and a lot of fun to read. I hope the people that pick up this book will enjoy it as much as we have," Wistock, Houin's cohost, said.
"Jason Tudor was the real work horse behind putting all the material together and without his talent this project may have never gotten completed," Houin added. Tudor is a Department of Defense Public Affairs Officer also in Europe serving at the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
For more information about the Science Fiction Show's charity effort, visit http://battlespace.myscifishow.com. No Department of Defense endorsement implied.