In a world that can feel shaky and uncertain at times, one fact holds true, nobody gets anywhere alone. Susan Combs has learned this lesson many times over and she’s held on to the advice that has guided her on her journey, one that’s taken her from a tiny town in Missouri to the hustle of New York City. She’s faced immense grief and she’s fostered immense growth, both personally and professionally. Through it all, she leaned on the guidance of mentors in her life.

One of those key mentors was her father, Roger. He wore many hats as a judge, a veteran and a two-star major general, as a leader in his community and as a loving husband and though he passed away in 2018, his legacy lives on. In Pancakes for Roger a series of quick, straightforward snapshots delivered with no fluff and a whole lot of heart, Susan offers some lessons from Roger and others, so that you can lean on them too as you set out to slay your own dragons.

Here’s my conversation with Susan Combs.

Welcome into The Author Hour Podcast. I’m your host Benji Block and today, thrilled to be joined by Susan Combs, she’s just authored a new book. The title of the book is Pancakes for Roger: A Mentorship Guide for Slaying DragonsQuite the title, excited to talk with Susan about this book but Susan, welcome in.

Susan Combs: Thank you.

Benji Block: Again, unique title, I like this one, so let’s just start right there. Set the scene for us for this book if you would?

Susan Combs: I fought for this title. The whole Pancakes for Roger actually comes from more of a personal story. I lost my father to agent orange, really to throat cancer about three years ago and he was a two star general in the air force, and he was also a civilian judge, and he had been diagnosed with this cancer about 10 years prior than he passed away. But then the last year of his life, he relapsed twice and during that time, he also had a feeding tube and when he had the feeding tube, my father, very much like me, extreme type-A, you understand life is life, if you have a feeding tube, that’s just how my life’s going to be and what I need to do.

When my father became really ill, I live in New York City and I’m originally from Missouri and my parents still live in the house that I grew up in, we had to bring in hospice for my father and so I moved back from New York to Missouri for basically the last three months of his life on and off, and so being the type-A people that we are and we were always the early risers in the house, we had kind of a system so to speak.

I’m a big cross fitter, so I’m always at the gym but I would get up. My father was on oxygen, that’s important to point out. If you’ve ever dealt with anybody on oxygen, if their oxygen levels go low or when they’re sleeping and they move around and their nasal cannula comes out, then they can get a lot of confusion as a result. A kind of unspoken rule on our family is if you got up at any time during the middle of the night, you would go check on dad, make sure his oxygen was on, he was alright.

Then at 5:00 every day, I would get up, I would check on him as long as he was good, I would go to the gym about two blocks from my parent’s house. I would do my cross-fit workout, I’d come back, check on him again, as long as he was good and then I’d go and shower and then come down, kind of start the day and he would start to stir and then I would help him get his tube feeding formula and we’d be kind of good to go for the day.

He would sit in his chair, I would literally be with my laptop sitting at my parent’s coffee table, there if he needed anything. Well, one morning, I was coming downstairs from showering and he was already at the table and he was setting the table and I looked at him and I said, “Dad, what are you doing?” He said, “Well, I’m going to have pancakes for breakfast” and I looked at him and I just – it broke my heart and then it also shocked me because this was a man that never once complained about the feeding tube or never wants to complain about not being able to eat anything.

I looked at him and I said, “Dad” I said, “You got a feeding tube and we have DNR.” That’s part of his hospice protocol and I said, “If you eat pancakes and you choke,” I said, “We’re done and I don’t think we’re ready to be done yet.” He looked at me and he said, “Yes I can have pancakes, you know Matt said I could.” My brother’s name is Matt and he’s a nurse and my brother wasn’t there that morning, so I knew his oxygen level had gotten low and he had some confusion and that’s why he thought it was okay for him to have pancakes for breakfast.

I looked at him and I said, “Well, let me see what I can do.” My dad, the type-A guy as he was, always on his tube feeding formula warmed up for 14 seconds, not 13, not 15, 14. I took the tube feeding formula and I heated it up for the 14 seconds and I brought it over the table and I sat it down and the Pyrex, little pouring spout like we all good mid-westerners have, he looked at me and he said, “What’s that?” and I looked at him and I said, “That’s your syrup” and the oxygen levels had started kind of rallying.

He start kind of coming back around, he looked at me kind of resigned and he kind of smirked and he nodded his head and he said, “Okay.” And so that story, I’ve shared with so many people just because at the end of the day, it’s all about the little things, right?

Benji Block: It is.

Susan Combs: There are lives, you don’t have to be somebody that has terminal cancer or somebody that’s just so sick to understand that life can change in a blink of an eye. I mean, car accidents happen every single day. You can always be in the wrong place at the right time and so, I’ve shared this story with a lot of people saying, “You know what? It’s the little things in life that make the difference.”

You know what? Go out and enjoy some Pancakes for Roger — that was my dad’s name, it was Roger Combs and I said, go out and have some pancakes for Roger. Just celebrate the little things in life and appreciate what you have because you just never know when they can change. That’s kind of where the whole Pancakes for Roger started and then we’ve also — it’s become this national, actually, a worldwide campaign.

Appreciating Uncertainty and Gleaning The Answers From the Sticky Parts of Life

Benji Block: That was my next question because it’s one thing if it’s like, okay Susan, you, your family, my family, we have our things with my grandparents and those little stories but it became a bigger thing and I’m glad to hear this evolution.

Susan Combs: Yeah, we just got the idea. I took one day off of work when I came back to New York after my father passed away and my husband said to me, “Let’s go to the diner and have some pancakes for your dad.” So that’s where the first picture for Pancakes for Roger was taken. I shared this story on Facebook and I said, “You know what, if you’re so inclined, go have some pancakes for my dad today and just think about all the great things you have in your life.”

His birthday is February 22nd, that is why the book’s coming out on his birthday, 02/22/22 this year, which is pretty cool. It started out with the month of February saying, “Okay, go have some pancakes for Roger.” I’m very heavily involved in the University of Missouri Law School veteran’s clinic, they provide free legal services to veterans and their families navigating the VA claims and appeals process and they provide them with free legal services and since my dad went to that same law school, it just seemed so very fitting to become involved in their cause.

The month of February for every pancake-loving picture we’d get with a #PancakesforRoger, my company, my insurance brokerage in New York City makes a donation to the Veterans Clinic in his honor. It started out as like, the first few weeks we got like 50 pictures and then now, last year — I mean, we’re in the midst of it right now but last year — we got all 50 states and 15 countries.

Right now, I know we’re going to get 50 states and we’re already at 10 countries but we have — I think we’re at 39 states as of today because we updated the pancake map every Tuesday and Friday. As for the slaying dragons part, I mean, I’ve just been blessed with so many great mentors in my life and we always have obstacles that come our way and I think sometimes people can just throw up their hands and say, “Why me?” Or, they can just meet it head-on and slay some dragons and get to the next level.

I woke up at two in the morning because we were trying to think like, Pancakes for Roger and then, what’s the next thing? We were like a mentorship guide for life. That’s where we were kind of going with and then I woke up at two in the morning and I was like, mentorship guide for slaying dragons. I’m like, that’s freaking it.

Benji Block: We need dragons.

Susan Combs: Slaying dragons. I have a girlfriend named Cat, she’s an attorney in New York City and when I shared that with her — because I tested it out with my crew and I shared that with her — she’s like, “Oh yeah! Susan, when I was a senior in high school…” the principal or superintendent spoke at her graduation and he basically said to them, “You know what? I know a lot of you guys want to go out and just take on the world and slay some dragons,” but he’s like, “Why don’t you just start with lizards first?”

Cat’s like, I’ll be sitting there and she’s like, “Fuck lizards —”

Benji Block: You need a dragon.

Susan Combs: When I said this to her and she just lit up and she’s like, “Yeah.” It’s been almost like this reaction that people have when they read the title has just garnered so much excitement.

Benji Block: Yup, the cover is beautiful too, it’s really well done. I love the backstory there and I love hearing how Pancakes has taken off. My wife and I, we have a routine because there is a coffee shop in town where the last Saturday of every month is Pancake Saturday and they do two pancakes for 99 cents, so we already have it in our habit to do that, right.

Susan Combs: Yeah, the 26th.

Benji Block: The 26th, I will post a picture and I’m excited to share it. I’m excited to see this book come out and really just explode this as a thing in the culture so I love it. Give me one more, little on the purpose of the book. I think of the ideal reader — obviously, your dad and the hardship that you walked through in those times, you wanted to honor his legacy but beyond that, this book is really what, for anyone who is going through a had time or who do you imagine being the right person to pick up this book?

Susan Combs: I think that one of the things that I don’t think I realized until I really got into writing this book is that, I’ve had so many great mentors. I’ve had mentors throughout my entire life but not everybody does. The premise of this book, I, in a way almost wrote it to my business partner that’s about 10 years almost, exactly 10 years younger than me.

She’s somebody, I mean, she’s in her early 30s now but when she came to me and started working with me, she was in her mid-20s and it was kind of trying to help people that are maybe uncertain on their career path or they’re wanting to take on more, they’re wanting to shift things to work towards their passion or develop maybe a non-profit or start their own business or things like that.

Sometimes you just need to have somebody that can regurgitate a lot of information that they’ve gotten along the way. So the purpose of the book was always very simple. I’m very much a realistic person and I kind of wanted to hit two things. I wanted to be able to bring more recognition to the University of Missouri Veterans Clinic because part of the first aid is going to go to them. I think that the work that they do is just incredible.

I wanted to bring recognition to them and then I want to help fight [for] women. I think that there’s — I mean, nobody got to where they are by themselves and I had a lot of people that have taken the time with me, so it’s made me want to take the time with other people because there’s always people that are going to climbing the ladder and through the people that turn around and put their hand out and pull the next person out with them.

I think that that’s been kind of how I’ve lived my life and how I’ve mentored people and so, it was just putting it all together. The premise of the book started because I do a lot of public speaking and I always end my books with unsolicited advice or in my talks, rather, unsolicited advice. There are these quotes from people, like these quick hits, that I’m able to give a little bit of information.

People have been after me to do a book for a long time. When I started out, I thought, “Okay, this would be cool, each quote will be a chapter” and then I’ll give the backstory about the person. I thought my dad was just going to be a chapter. I really did. Then, when we got going in the process — anybody that’s written a book knows that it’s definitely a process — my dad is in every single page and so that’s why it had to be Pancakes for Roger.

I mean, there was no way it couldn’t have been and I really think it was very healing and cathartic for me. I was extremely close to my dad and my world was very much shattered. I mean, I didn’t expect to lose my father in my 30s, and I know there’s been people that have lost parents much younger but it doesn’t matter what age you are. It’s still life-altering so to speak.

Benji Block: I’m excited to dive into the content here for a bit and you split the book into four parts: there’s self, love, family and career. I’m going to read you a quote from that first section that I thought was very funny. It’s a quote from your dad and he said, “Be aware of the toes you step on today because they could be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.”

Now, there are several phrases that you pull out but that one is so funny. Were phrases like this just super common in your house or, what gave you a love for sort of those quick hits?

Susan Combs: Absolutely. It’s just my father was in the military for over 39 years and he was just, he was a go-to guy, he mentored so many people. I mean, whether it was in his legal career or in his military career or where just being a good guy. It was always great to have these little anecdotes and one that I don’t have in the book but my brother and I kind of laugh about, and I’ve shared with a lot of people is, my dad and I both, we always were all in and just never go about anything halfway but it’s always just like, just a little bit extra. In our family we call it the “Comb’s Twist”.

It’s just like, you know when you’re screwing in a screw into board and you’re like, “Oh just a little bit more” and then you shred the screw and it doesn’t even work anymore because it’s just a little bit more. I’ve just gotten so many lessons from my dad along the way and I share them with a lot of people so I get people that start throwing it back to me which is kind of cool because I’m like, “Where’d you get that?” They’re like, “I don’t know.” Yeah, you got it from me, you got it from my dad.

Benji Block: I love that. You grew up in a town of less than a thousand people and you graduated from high school with like 15 kids and then —

Susan Combs: One cousin. Only one cousin in my class.

Benji Block: You end up moving to New York and it’s documented in the book but I wonder, what are some of the things that now, looking back, you appreciate and remember because you have a section in there about where you came from and remembering where you came from even going home, right? To be with your dad in that season, what do you appreciate most about where you came from?

Susan Combs: I think it’s a couple of things. I appreciate how I was raised, the older I get and I think that’s probably true for a lot of people. My father was a real big deal, I mean, he’s got like four Wikipedia pages and I think half our family and half my town didn’t even realize — probably more than that, more of it, have to realize.

My parents were very good about — my mother had a travel agency, my dad was in the military. We traveled a tremendous amount and I had, by standards of that time, I had the older parents. My dad was 35 when I was born, my mom was getting raised at 32 and you know, back in the Midwest, I mean, most of my friend’s parents were like in their early 20s when they were born.

Since my parents were “older” they financially had the ability to let us see a lot of things and see the world. I think with that, I knew it was a little bit different when I went on senior trip and when we went on senior trip, flew to Sao Padre Island and half the students and teachers had never been on an airplane. Well, my dad was a pilot so we had an airplane. It wasn’t like a richie-rich kind of thing, it’s just how it was.

We were always able to see the world but we were also showing that, “You know what? The world is bigger than your backyard but if you want to come back here, that’s okay too.” We were given the permission to really choose our own adventure. I have two older brothers and one is in Kansas and one lives 30 miles from where we grew up and that’s great.

That works for them but it was just never really going to work for me, but I have always stayed true to my roots and I have always kept in touch with where I came from. With my parents allowing us to kind of explore and see what works for us, I think that’s something that I really, really appreciate. Also there is a lot to be said for just good Midwest solidary people and you know, people are just very, very kind.

I love New York. I made a home here, I made a life here but I think I have a greater appreciation and a great perspective by not being from here because you get people that just say, “Oh, well.” I remember being in a bar one of the first few weeks I was in New York and a guy was like, “How does it feel to be in the greatest city in the world?” and I’m like, “Where the hell else have you been?”

Benji Block: Give me a rap sheet man, that’s a pretty bold statement.

Susan Combs: I know. I looked at him and I was like — he’s like, “Well…” and you know New Yorkers are kind of notorious for not knowing anything west of Pennsylvania, so this kid had never — I mean, grew up in Long Island, lived in the city, went to school in Syracuse. He had never left the state and I’m like, “How can you make that bold statement when you haven’t even seen the world?”

I think it’s having such a big dichotomy so to speak on where you came from and where I live now, I mean one of the smallest towns in the country to one of the largest cities in the country, I think it gives me kind of a unique perspective that I try to kind of keep my finger on the pulse and just keep balanced too.

Benji Block: One thing I appreciate is this balance of yes, you are choosing your own adventure and you have agency in your life but then there’s this other side of uncertainty and uncertainty being inevitable in life is just baked in. It is part of what’s true and you said that you came across a quote after your dad passed, “Trust the weight, embrace the uncertainty, enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.”

I thought that was a beautiful quote. Now with things that you’ve been through and working through this book even, how have you grown in your appreciation for uncertainty? And tell me a bit about that process.

Susan Combs: I found that quote, god, I was at the airport getting ready to fly back to New York after my father passed and because I just looked for things that just kind of fill me up — because I don’t know, I have always been somebody that was a big motivational quote person because things just resonate and speak to me and that one just stopped me in my tracks.

I look at that, god, almost every single day. The first year my dad passed and I think that sometimes we can be such a reactionary as a people like in general. It’s just like we just are and so I think sometimes you just have to sit with it and understand that the universe has a lot to offer. I think a lot of times people are like – I mean, they always what? One door closes, another one opens or stuff like that.

You just have the whole bullshit platitude that goes on but, I think that sometimes you have to trust yourself and that you have to know that it’s the circle of life, right? I mean, it’s just like we’re not all vampires, we’re all not going to live forever, things are going to come your way and sometimes you just have to trust the uncertainty because sometimes, that is where the growth comes so much because you learn so much.

I had a mentor. She was also the national president of an insurance organization that I later became the national president of and she always said, “If you are not uncomfortable, you are not growing.” So I think sometimes [when] I’m really uncomfortable, “Okay, where is the lesson?” I think that sometimes we just have to sit with it and instead of being reactionary and just saying “What’s this going to lead to?” sometimes you just have to be quiet and then the lessons will come.

Benji Block: It’s so frustrating that you have to be in the uncomfort for a while before you can even find the lesson. You got to comb through and sit in that space for a bit and then it’s like, “Oh, I did learn a lot from that season” but it is coming through the other side. You have this idea of this section in the book called “the syrup” and I love that idea but explain that for those that haven’t picked up the book yet and how you want readers to engage those sections.

Susan Combs: “The syrup” kind of goes back to the story of the whole pancake story, as to where I put the pitcher on the table and said, “There is your syrup.” That is kind of what we felt like it would be really, really good is like, “Okay, after you’re done with these four sections, what can you pull from it? What are the lessons?” It’s almost like a summary, so to speak, of what the different answers to it and the vignettes that taught you.

Then you can go back and reflect on it or, even parts of the surface challenges like asking people what they should do or how they could look at things a little bit differently. It’s just like a recap so to speak at the end of each section to know what lessons you can glean from it.

The Honor of Service

Benji Block: Yeah, I pulled one here from your section on love. It says, “Be open to taking on a supportive role to other people. Be open to being a mentor when you’re ready. At the same time, accept help when you need it. Those relationships evolve organically when you leave room for them.” I really like that. I’ll ask you these because you hit on mentorship and obviously that is a key paradigm part of this book.

I feel like there are many that would struggle with maybe asking for help. I know I am in that place often. How do you grow in that over time, Susan, or was it something that you just kind of had happened naturally, that there were mentors around you?

Susan Combs: I think I have been very lucky. I had a great mentor in my father and that’s the thing I understand. Not everybody had a great father, you know, not everybody has great parents and I totally understand. I guess I can sympathize but I don’t empathize, right? Because I feel like to truly have empathy, you have to have been in somebody’s shoes but I think you have more than just your family.

You have your chosen family, so you can choose to bring the people in your life that you want to bring in. I think that when it comes to mentorship, it is actually kind of stepping out in bravery when you ask for help and one of the things that I always think about is, as my barometer so to speak, before I ask for help, if I ask for help on something I always think to myself, “If somebody asked me this would I do it for them?”

Benji Block: I like that.

Susan Combs: If I would be willing to do it for them, then why not give them the honor of service. A lot of times I think people get stuck. They’re like, “Oh, I think it’s a weakness when I ask for help or I think it’s a weakness when I ask for advice.” Hell, I ask for advice. I asked my crew yesterday because I had an issue that I was like, “I was just a fish out of water and I didn’t know what to do.”

I went to people that I knew had been in those shoes before and said like, “Hey, god, what do I do here?” So you know, just like I know that okay, when somebody else has an issue that I have like I’ll be prepared than next time and I’ll know how to help somebody else that asked me. For me, the barometer has always been easy because I know I am an all-in person and I know that if somebody said, “Hey Susan, I need some day-old money.” I’ll be like, “Well, how good a friend are you?”

I wouldn’t do that but you know, for the most part, if somebody is just like, “I am stuck, I need help with this. Can you do me a solid here?” then I am happy to do that. When it comes to mentorship, I think sometimes there’s the loose type of mentorships where it’s just like, “Hey, I know I can pick up the phone and call Benji when I have a question on X because that’s his field” or there’s like, “Hey, Benji, let’s have a relationship where we do once a month check-ins” and we’d put some parameters around it and I come to you when I have certain topics that I want to talk to you about.

I think that you have to make the first decision like are you wanting to formalize a mentorship thing or are you wanting it to be more loosely? In my opinion, when you put a little bit of parameters on it, I do think you can have it be a lot more beneficial because there is a little bit more structure around it.

Benji Block: One other thing I wanted to kind of touch on, you found it to be extremely beneficial in your time of loss this idea of reaching out and being a help to those that were in similar situations, so you became a hospice volunteer. You say that connecting with others who are grieving honored your dad and I was just wondering if you’d expand a little bit on how you felt like service allowed you to heal in ways that maybe you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.

Susan Combs: Yeah, it is like a tender topic. I think, for me I have always been a caring person, right? I am a kind person and I was a nice kid. I played powderpuff football and they made my nickname one year, “Hey Susan. Hey, how are you doing, Combs?” because I guess that’s supposed to be like, “Hey, how are you doing?” I didn’t realize I did that so much until they made it my nickname that I would catch myself doing it.

I was always just the kid there with you know, if you ask for help I was always there but when somebody would say — you’d be at a business meeting or you’d be at a networking meeting and somebody would be like, “Oh you know, I lost my mom last year.” And, in my family, we call it “ugly third grader”. Everybody is freaking ugly third grader. It’s just like you feel so awkward in your skin, you feel uncomfortable.

It’s just like, it is uncomfortable. Loss is uncomfortable, pain is uncomfortable and so, I would always say the things that you are supposed to say, “Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine,” things like that but I never truly saw that until I went through it myself and I just think that that’s part of it. I think that if you haven’t lost a parent or you haven’t lost a child or you haven’t lost a spouse or something like that, you’re kind of unqualified to comment on it.

I am not saying that in a derogatory manner. You can be caring, you can send food, you can send cards, you can tell them you’re so sorry and you can show up for them and say, “What can I do?” but you’re just — you’re out of your element. The reason I showed up for other people is because I had so many people show up for me and people that I am not even close with.

I mean, if you’re on Facebook or whatever — I mean hello, I mean my town is 986 people. I think I am connected to about 3,000 on Facebook, you what I mean? You have those people that you know but you don’t really know-know them, right? But it is like those people that were almost like a third or fourth level of friendship were the ones that helped me the most because they were part of the freaking dead dad’s club.

You don’t even know this club existed until you’re there and then you’re like, “Well, son of a bitch, I didn’t want to be in this club.” I didn’t want it. So that is one of the things if I see somebody — I mean, I saw somebody on Facebook just a couple of days ago that they had put that they had lost their mom and you know, I don’t respond to the 45,000 comments that everybody else did on the thing.

I message them privately because I think that it’s those people that help you more and it’s almost like a safe space if it is a private conversation because you get people that really will open up. That’s what I felt like somebody did it for me so I can do it for somebody else. That’s kind of how it started and if I see or hear about something like, I am always reaching out to those people.

You know for the hospice thing, the hospice thing was cathartic for me but it was also hospice was such a wonderful thing in my family. I think there is a very big negative connotation with hospice that somebody triggers hospice and it’s like, “Okay, the person is going to be gone in a week” or a couple of days or things like that. Hospice supports the family and kind of the rule of thumb is hospice, if somebody didn’t have any medical intervention, they’d probably no longer be on this earth in six months.

Sometimes people don’t have to be knocking on death’s door but it’s giving support and giving respite care to the family because being caretakers is hard work. So, by becoming a hospice volunteer, it was a way to pay tribute to my father and pay tribute to the hospice organization that supported my family so much as well.

Benji Block: Well, this has been a fascinating conversation. I could ask several more questions but it is kind of time to wrap up and I want to do this. I wanted to ask, could you boil down your hope for when readers finish this book? What do you hope they walk away with? If it’s a feeling or an action item, what is your hope for the readers?

Susan Combs: I think my hope would be that they pass it along to somebody else. My hope is when they are reading through the book, almost getting these light bulb moments or snapshots in their head where it’s like, “Oh wow, somebody was asking me about this the other day, this could really help them” or it’s almost like they put it in a vault in their head to tap into when they need it because I talk about it in the book.

It is just, not every section is going to resonate with you because this is kind of a — I mean, I am 42 years old. There has been some life there. I think that it is just like having the resource to tap into when you need it but also then paying it forward. I think if you get some good advice, I mean, it is kind of our jobs to share with the world and tell other people about it and so that was one of the premises of the book.

I have gotten a lot from other people and why not share that information with the world?

Benji Block: Wow, that’s great. Well, I want to give you an opportunity here as we wrap up. You mentioned it early on but a portion of the proceeds for this book benefit the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic. Talk a little bit about that Veteran’s Clinic and the work that’s being done there.

Susan Combs: With the Veteran’s Clinic — I mean man, anybody listening to this, if you have ever dealt with the VA, God bless you. I mean, it is rough and you know the VA claims thing could be such a complicated process. If you go to the VA website, it puts on there that on average, claims take seven years. I mean, one out 14 veterans pass away during this process and it is so difficult and the forms are so confusing.

My father was a judge, so he went to law school but he was also a general, so he had connections. My dad’s claim took three years and we thought that was a long time and the clinic, when I sat down with them for the first time, they almost fell out of their chairs. They were like, “Only three years? That’s incredible, like nobody gets it done in three years.” That’s when I learned on average it takes seven years.

The clinic, what they do, I mean it’s just a labor of love. There is — and a lot of law schools have veteran’s clinics. I went to the University of Missouri, my father went to the University of Missouri for undergrad and for law school. If you are looking to get involved, check out a university that you went to or one in your state and see if their law school has clinics like this because a lot of them do.

The University of Missouri in Syracuse, I believe, has the largest veteran’s clinics in the United States but it’s about providing free little services and helping them navigate that VA system because, also too, when you’re sick and you really are needing help, you are really needing assistance. Maybe it is not so much money and back pay but it is just providing care, providing health care, providing the treatment that you need because you gave your life for this country, you’re sick or you are injured because of serving your country. 

So the veterans clinic is great with either helping people navigate or pointing them in the right direction or giving them advice on some things that they could try or look at but then also representing them legally and helping them to recover money that is due to these men and women that have served our country.

Benji Block: Thanks for sharing that. Susan Combs, thank you for being on Author Hour. Where can people follow you and the book and where can they reach out?

Susan Combs: Got you. So, we have a website, If you head over there during the month of February, you will actually see our happy pancake map that gets updated every Tuesday and Friday, like I said, and it will also give you the premise of Pancakes for Roger, what the backstory is about, how it came to be and a little bit about the book. The book is going to be available on February 22nd, so it should be available now on Amazon.

Benji Block: Wonderful. Well again, the book is called, Pancakes for Roger: A Mentorship Guide For Slaying Dragons, and it’s been an honor and privilege to talk with you, Susan. I know this is going to be a great book for so many, so thanks for stopping by the podcast.

Susan Combs: Thank you.