top of page

Penny Rock

Author... Poet... Veteran... Survivor... Inspiration!

Penny Rock was a child prodigy, excelling in music as a teenager and young woman.  Her voice spanned four octaves, with power and clarity at both ends of that range.  In her teens, she sang opera arias and played classical piano with the Minnesota Symphony.  Unable to afford Julliard, she entered nursing to create a mobile career that would support her study of opera. 


The Army provided a scholarship for nursing school, with a vague promise that Germany, the hotbed of opera, would be a “likely” posting.  With a nursing degree in hand and specialties in cardio-vascular and thoracic surgery, the Army sent her to Vietnam, where she served for thirteen months in the Third Field Hospital, a receiving point for the wounded coming straight from the battlefield. 


She served during some of the worst times of the war, and it was during the Tet Offensive that snipers breached the hospital compound and she was shot in the back while running into the open to rescue an injured child.  During this time, she was continuously exposed to the toxic gas Agent Orange, her hospital being in the area most heavily sprayed.  A final injury- a throat infection – destroyed her ability to sing and ended her career plans to sing opera. 


The wounds she suffered have caused her a lifetime of pain and discomfort, but they also helped her find a natural resiliency that has since guided her life’s work.  “We all experience difficulties throughout our lives – no one gets a free ride – but while some incorporate those difficulties and move beyond, many hold them in their thinking and struggle for their entire lives.  The negative thoughts they carry provide a screen through which they view the world, their job, relationships, and family.” 


It is this understanding that has shaped her career, and her writing: “the knowledge that each person has the ability to transcend and benefit from any life experience.” 

Books, eBooks, Audio Books, & CDs

FTM covern Final small.jpg

Freeing the Music

She had enough instruments for a symphony but needed musicians, so she developed a program to recruit and train the patients at the Minnesota State Mental Hospital, culminating in a one-night concert that changed the lives of both patients and staff.
A wonderful and moving true story!

Angel Cover Audiobook.jpg

He Called Me Lieutenant Angel

A death bed request inspires an Army Nurse to tell the truth about the war. He Called Me Lieutenant Angel speaks to you with the insistent voice of love, hope and redemption, from the Intensive Care Ward of a Vietnam Hospital. It is a story of strength and enlightenment, a tribute to all the extraordinary young soldiers and nurses who share the intimate, final moments of life.

BookCover Front email.jpg

Power of a Clear Mind

 Leadership is not a position—it is a state of mind. Every leadership decision flows directly from the state of mind in which it was made. The vital question is, are you leading your organization from a distracted or a clear state of mind? How do you know the difference? In her groundbreaking book, Penny Rock introduces the "Power of a Clear Mind" principles that demonstrate the direct link between state of mind and decisions, actions, and results.


We Declare

We Declare exposes the human face of war and calls upon all of us to be instruments of peace in our daily lives. It was in Vietnam, as an Army nurse, where Penny Rock experienced the true essence of war, and for 25 years kept silent about her experience. Since breaking her silence, she has seen her responsibility not to gloss over war, but to use the lessons of war as a teacher of peace. This book encourages us to shift our focus from pointing fingers, finding fault, and laying blame, to engaging in respectful dialogue to create a personal and national priority to embark on the path of peace.


The 8 Essential Ingredients of Healing

This insight-based CD is designed for repeated listening. You’ll gain new insights, and your previous insights will increase in depth and breadth each time you listen.
If you've ever had a situation or relationship that seems to grip you like mental Velcro, this is the CD for you. Penny Rock shows you how to loosen the grip so you can understand what the situation has to teach you, and explains why it's never too late to heal!


Power of a Clear Mind Introduction

The Power of a Clear Mind CD will help you to:

  •  Discover the direct link between your state of mind, the decisions you make, and the results you get.

  • Understand that there is NO circumstance or event in our lives that does not benefit from a clear mind - especially when the stakes are high.

  • Know when your mind is clear and when it is not * Handle difficult situations-in any location, at any time-in a healthy, responsive manner

  • Make better decisions on practical matters, as well as gain clarity to solve more challenging problems-professionally and personally

“Why reserve your best intentions, best manners, best food, best work, best offerings for special occasions? Life is the special occasion. Each moment counts—because that’s all there is."

~ Penny Rock

bottom of page