Michael's Dispatches

Distributor Refuses to Carry "Moment of Truth in Iraq" on Military Bases

Folks are asking why "Moment of Truth in Iraq" is not being carried on most military bases within the United States.

Here's why:

My publisher and literary agent have been working with the private companies who handle book distribution on military bases in order to get "Moment of Truth in Iraq" on their shelves. The process is arduous, to put it mildly.

They have succeeded in getting the book into overseas bases. But as the publisher and my agent are slowly working their way through US distributors who cover different geographic regions, they have been told "no" by the largest distributor, the Anderson News Company.

A letter from Anderson News:

Thank you for submitting Moment of Truth in Iraq to Anderson News for review. We have reviewed this book and do not consider it appropriate for our company to handle at this time, as it does not fit our current distribution needs and capabilities.

Thank you for considering us to distribute your book.


Book Purchasing
Anderson News Company

Stunning response. Over the past weeks, as my literary agent spoke to Anderson while they reviewed the book, Anderson told him that the desires of the base exchange customers would have no influence and play no role in their decision making process. Anderson also stated that even appeals from high ranking military officers could not persuade Anderson to carry a title. Apparently, in Anderson's mind, they outrank the Joint Chiefs of Staff when it comes to doing business on military bases.

Anderson News Company has almost a complete monopoly over the books carried on Army, Navy and Air Force book shelves in the following US states:


The two military agencies, AAFES and NEXCOM, handle book distribution on base exchanges and work directly with private distributors such as Anderson News. AAFES and NEXCOM allow companies such as Anderson News to choose the books they will sell.

The best way to encourage Anderson to do the right thing is to contact the AAFES and NEXCOM, and encourage them to pay attention to what Anderson is not doing. My publisher and agent have tried without success.

If this is important to you, please call and request that base exchanges carry the book. Please be polite. You may also contact Anderson directly.

AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) handles Army and Air Force bases and the phone number for their book buying section is (214) 312-2741.

NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command) handles Navy bases and the phone number for their book buying section is (757) 631-3465 .

Anderson News Company may be reached at (865) 588-0254. That is a general number and you will need to go to the operator and ask for the book buyers for military bases.

Please look at or print this handout: it contains all necessary information about "Moment of Truth in Iraq." The ISBN No. is 978-0-9800763-2-5.

While we struggle to get the book on exchange shelves, signed copies are still available and Barnes & Noble and Amazon are fully stocked. It also goes on front tables in Barnes & Noble stores across the country today. Hopefully, if we sell in Barnes & Noble stores, other book sellers will realize this is an important book they need to carry.

As always, I humbly thank you for your help and your efforts. You continue to make my sacrifices worthwhile.


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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Walter R. Barnes · 13 years ago

    I don't know if this will help or not but you may want to contact:

    1 02 Lafayette Drive
    Alexandria, VA 22 08
    (800) 628-0901

    I know they distribute the five or so Military SMARTbooks from TheLightningPress through AAFES outlets.

    Love your website and your reporting.

    Wally B
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark stys · 13 years ago
    Mr Yon,

    Your book is inspiring, I read it cover to cover and then gave it to my sons to read. It is working its way through the family and I can only say that you have a done a service in writing it. Please continue your great work and don't pull any punches, the balance of the book is what makes it so important. Too often critics forget that in war the other side gets to take action as well and it is the constant evolution of process and tactics that make our military so powerful - it is the people not the technology.

    So, lets get some pressure going on Anderson, maybe we need a Bill O'Reilly-like boycott or national press movement. Anybody got some connections?

    Mark S
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John K in Oregon · 13 years ago
    Michael: My most sincere thanks to you for your courage and brave service to your country. Even the worst of the liberal MSM are starting to understand that we are winning the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The MSM elect to ignore the good news that the war is being won. They are all paying a price by seeing their income going down 10% a year. God bless you and those who serve and have served their country.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Corey · 13 years ago
    Here is the link for the Procurement Division at Anderson News for email......I say flood them with emails (polite, of course) encouraging them to carry Michael Yon's book. Further, let them know that you will be contacting your local book retailer to find out if they are serviced by Anderson, and let that retailer know you won't be buying books from them until Anderson distributes Michael Yon's books at ALL military installations it services.


    is the link for Anderson News' procurement department.

    This is an important book that our military members need to see is being written about their work.

    Thank you for all you do, Michael. I've been a supporter/contributor since the beginning because what you do is SO IMPORTANT.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    vanessa · 13 years ago
    I sent them a email from Corey's address.
    Good work letting us know what they are up to.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JLawson · 13 years ago
    At the BX at an AF Reserve base near Atlanta, GA - they stock a large number of 'inspirational' books, and a lot of romances. There's a few westerns, but pretty much nothing in the way of hard SF or military fiction - I guess they think it's too 'upsetting' to the delicate sensibilities of Reservists.

    "Anderson told him that the desires of the base exchange customers would have no influence and play no role in their decision making process." - well, as any BX customer would tell you, since when is THAT news!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark E · 13 years ago
    The left (and yes this is another effort of the left) continues to sicken me with their Stalinist insistence on suppressing information and news that doesn't fit their political goals on Iraq.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Denis Byrne · 13 years ago
    I called Anderson and left a voicemail with Ms. Dent inviting her to return my call and explain why the book is not being distributed by her employer. I also advised her that I would wait until 2: 0 p.m. today, before calling my Congressman and others. I suppose I will just have to buy another copy and send it to my nephew in Mogadishu since he won't be able to get a copy of his own.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    LindaB · 13 years ago
    Mr. Yon, I purchased copies of your book. One for myself and one for my son and daughter. From what I have read so far..EXCELLENT. You are awesome! I will help to put pressure on this Anderson company..Some one posted contacting O'Reilly,he is just the right guy to bring light to this!!! Great Idea!! . Meanwhile I am going to purchase a few more copies to bring over to our Healing Heroes and to ship to my troops I support in Iraq and Afgahanistan. Thank you and May God Continue to bless our troops!
    We need more people like you!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dave S · 13 years ago
    You book is not available to Kindle owners at Amazon, a failure I brought to Amazon's attention.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bryan Berry · 13 years ago
    Sent my e-mail sent to Anderson - and it was polite! A cousin of mine is one of the Major's mentioned in the book. He has read the book and indicated that it is a very true depicition of what went on. He has had very complimentary things to say of Michael as well. For anyone who has read the book, take a few moments and follow the link to Anderson.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DavidM · 13 years ago
    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/22/2008 A short recon of whatƒ??s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Leroy · 13 years ago
    AAFES is a joke!!! That's what happens when you allow civilians to take control of any part of the military. AAFES has never been the same since it was turned over to the civilians. I don't shop there, most things you can buy off post at better prices. I bought my copy at Borders Books, they are now carrying it on their shelves. Keep up the good work Michael!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mark M. · 13 years ago
    Mr. Yon,

    I don't know if it will help but I've sent an email to the AAFES Vice Commander who is a personnel friend. If anyone can knock some heads at Anderson, he can. And FYI - AAFES is not "run" by civilians. It's commander by active duty GO's who aren't on the road to retirement. It's their job to make sure we get what we need in the BX/PX's.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    PeteD · 13 years ago

    I've already purchased a signed copy, read it and its already on its way to my son Phil (17 rd Airborne) stationed in Afghanistan.
    I know he'll hand it around...

    Everyone should try to do the same...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    SteveG · 13 years ago
    I will grit my teeth and try to be as polite as possible in my email to AAFES. However, I may very well send more than one email that is NOT so polite. To refuse to distribute this book is ignorant arrogance which is the worst kind.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John F · 13 years ago
    Good luck dealing with AAFS or the NEX. I just wrote my senators and congressman. The subject political censorship.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thomas in DE · 13 years ago
    I sent my (signed) copy to a soldier in Iraq about a month ago (also in the box: David Bellavia's House to House). It was either that or send it to my congresscritter, and I guess I settled on sending it to someone who would understand and appreciate it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John M. Strongosky · 13 years ago
    I called the NEX Book Buyer and voiced my displeasure. American Democracy in action...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Douglas Scholl · 13 years ago
    It's an absolute disgrace that Anderson distributing would block the sale of this book that shines light on the daily heroic actions of our soliders, sailors, airmen and marines but they'll gladly distribute a book by Kelly Flinn a convicted and discharged officer from the US Air Force who brought great discredit to the U.S. Air Force. It is a shame that our service stores can have no input into what is placed on thier shelves.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    HomefrontSix · 13 years ago
    Email sent. I'll set up a table and sell the books myself at the entrance to the PX if you'll let me! Just say the word.Thanks for all you do Michael. Stay safe.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jstanley01 · 13 years ago
    "Anderson told [my literary agent] that the desires of the base exchange customers would have no influence and play no role in their decision making process."

    A stunning statement. If their business isn't selling books to exchange customers, exactly what business are they in?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joanne · 13 years ago
    When I first read this I was ready to run out and urge strong activity, letters to congressmen and all that. Then I started to wonder what the market for your book might be on military bases. What effect might it have on say returning soldiers with mild PTSD. Might it make their problem worse? On another paw your book would be a good introduction to what could be expected by a person going over there for the first time. On the whole, I am imagining here, I suspect I'd want much lighter fair if I've been over there and seen the same material first hand. So the market for the book on bases where soldiers have just returned from deployment might be low. It might be much higher on other bases. After I'd been home awhile and had decompressed I imagine reading it would be a good thing. It'd tell me more than the little piece of the picture I'd seen while over there, figuring, hypothetically, that I was a soldier to begin with.

    With that conjecture in mind it might be interesting to take a survey of the type of literature on the shelves at those bases and what seems to sell. That would help provide some background on the distributor's decision. Maybe they simply figure the market for the book would be small.

    Before complaining too loudly I'd like data to back up any complaints that might impute bias rather than pure commercial interests as being behind the distributor's action. It's not obvious from the data presented, as disturbing as that data might be.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    John Sutherland · 13 years ago
    i just got off the phone witht he NEXCOM bookbuyer in VA Beach. Nice lady, iterated she had been receiving several phone calls and emails on Anderson's refusal to carry Michael's book. I think more phone calls/emails will help reverse this decision.
    God bless you Michael.
    Big John
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Shari Bradley · 13 years ago
    Dear Michael -

    You and your book are just amazing. I have been spellbound reading it and having ah-HA moments throughout. You make the entire course of this war make sense now. Thank you for getting the truth out there, and I pray that those who are able will ensure a wide and vast distribution of your book and those books to follow so enlighten Americans and others around the world. What al Queda has done to Iraq is heartbreaking. What the very few in the military with questionable honor have done is also heartbreaking. However, knowing we have the leadership of honorable, incredible men like General Petraeus gives me such hope and encouragement for the future of that country and ours. Please know you and all those you write about are in my prayers and the prayers of those on my small church email prayer chain. May God bless you with good health, continued inspiration, love in you and around you, and a hedge surrounding you to keep you safe. In Jesus's name. Amen.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MCPO Airdale · 13 years ago
    If you don't like the answer at NEXCOM, call their boss at NAVSUPSYSCOM, Rear Admiral Alan S. Thompson at (717) 605- 565.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Miss Ladybug · 13 years ago
    I was in B&N a few days ago and asked about the book (I have a signed copy). They had one copy, on an aisle table, on a side bottom shelf. I swapped its location with a single copy of another book that was on the tabletop ;-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J. C. Gorman · 13 years ago
    Whenever a large company has exclusive rights to anything and acts so arrogantly you can bet they feel very secure and have a "patron" who they have paid to protect their monopoly. Let some ambitious congresscritter get a look at this and shine some light on the issue. Watch the fun begin.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    GeneB · 13 years ago
    Might I suggest providing the book to sell by one of the hundreds of vendors set up in lobbies in BX and PX locations across the world. It is sad that some distributor who is making a lot of money from troops can't provide an insight into their dangerous and hectic lives. I will not buy another Anderson distributed publication from my local BX until they use common sense. Maybe if enough follow through it will hit them where it hurts... the pocket book.

    Be safe. Duty, honor, Country. God Bless America!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carole · 13 years ago
    I was looking up "House to House" mentioned by Thomas in DE on www.amazon.com.
    I always read the customer reviews on any book because they are better than the publisher's
    reviews. The site also lists Mr. Yon's latest book, as well as several others of possible
    interest to me. I enjoy purchasing books periodically from them because of the free shipping.
    Whenever a company makes purchasing difficult for me, I like to find other companies that make
    it easy and fun.
    You can also start a Wish List. Relatives and others can look up your list by just typing in your
    email address. There it is, with several books of all prices on it! Amazon does a good job of wrapping and sending the gift to you. My daughter recently sent me a gift from this list.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    GaryB · 13 years ago
    I saw nine copies available at the bookstore at Fort Leavenworth, KS on 29 May. Looks like the grassroots efforts are working!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ray Gillespie · 13 years ago
    I'm currently deployed and had been considering just ordering this book through an online retailer and having my wife ship it to me. However, just recently I walked into the local PX here on Taji and "lo and behold" there it was, sitting on the bookshelf. It made my day to finally get my hands on this book. I snatched one up immediately and read it in one sitting. Thanks for writting it, Mr. Yon.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sarah Caruso Toth · 12 years ago
    Go Mr. Yon!!! I was searching the net for "Military distribution channels" for Galaxy's titles (we publish L. Ron Hubbard's fiction works) and I some how got into your article regarding Anderson News. I have personal experience with them, same old, same old - your article is 100% accurate. But I think you "are" going to get your books in there, with that much back up, you WILL get in there. My wishes are with you!!
    By the way is your book available in paperback? You could get it submitted to be included in the "Library Program/Moral Support Program". It's a Gov program and the buyer for the program hand selects dozens of titles every month and includes them in boxes that go to deployed troops. His orders are usually for between 200-900 copies or more and he's a really nice, down to earth guy, he's based out of Alexandria, VA. I'll have to find his address for you.

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