Retired pilot battles past stroke

Published 10:02 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A retired Air Force pilot is coming out with another book about his extraordinary career and powerful faith in God.

“A Stroke of Genius: Insights of the Dain Bramaged” by retired Lt. Col. William M. “Spike” Jones of the U.S. Air Force will be released in September by Christian Faith Publishing. Jones said the title is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the brain damage he suffered after a near-fatal stroke.

“My family is stricken with a sense of humor,” Jones said. “I tend to find the humor in almost anything.”

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The book is a follow-up to his first self-published book, “Glimpses of God’s Grace: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Guy,” a memoir released in 2015 by Westbow Press. Jones said his latest book is the culmination of daily writings he has posted on the Facebook companion page for his first book.

“A Stroke of Genius” examines the exploits he detailed in his memoir, but focuses more on the hundreds of “biblical discoveries” he’s written about in the past year, along with other “life episodes.”

“I wound up with a second book that I think is better than the first,” Jones said.

Jones carried out 25 years of commissioned service flying for the Air Force, starting as a basic cadet in 1976. He described his high school self as a “130-pound band geek with bad ‘70s hair and braces.”

“I wasn’t the big man on campus in high school or the genius in class,” Jones said. “I was just an ordinary kid.”

That kid went on to earn a squadron command and become an award-winning pilot of the F-15 Eagle aircraft, “the world’s undisputed, premiere air superiority fighter at the time,” according to Jones.

“I was pretty good at it,” Jones said.

His writings convey the excitement of flying modern aircraft, while delivering messages about faith and God’s plan for every person. He said anything is possible through God’s will.

“If you just get on board with that purpose and will, you’ll find yourself doing extraordinary things as an ordinary person,” he said.

Jones writes at the Carrollton residence he shares with his childhood sweetheart and wife of more than 37 years, Shirley. He also does it one handed from his wheelchair, as the left half of his body is paralyzed from his stroke.

He said he wants his writings to demonstrate his strength of faith in God. As he puts it in his upcoming book, “if this old, brain-damaged, public-educated fighter pilot can get it, anybody can get it.”

Self-publishing his latest book wasn’t easy, he said, but it will have been worth the effort if some readers are inspired by it.

“I’m hoping that it changes lives,” he said. “I’m not looking for fame and fortune. If it will just change one life, then the cost will be worth it.”

“A Stroke of Genius: Insights of the Dain Bramaged” will be available online, on e-readers and through book stores this September. Visit for more information.