Lynn and Deke participate in the local St. Nicholas Day celebration in the German village outside their Air Force Base. Each finds a new reason to enjoy the winter holidays.
Lynn Michaels sat at the window of her dormitory at Hahn AB in Germany. Her gaze focused on everything and nothing—the fat snowflakes so foreign to her, a young woman born and raised in Southern California, the distant memory of what would be happening in her home right at this minute, how she was a long way from home and would never return there. If she could help it.
She never believed that she would feel so lonely and lost when she left for her first overseas assignment. 1983 had been a whirlwind year. She’d completed basic training late in 1982 and been granted leave to spend the Christmas season at home, but this year, after she finished her advanced training, she had received orders to report to this base.
Arriving in mid-July, she’d had a lot of fun. Weekends were devoted to Volksmarching, an activity that meant walking through the many small towns less than three hours from the base. She’d even joined the Volksmarching club, becoming part of the planning of the annual organized walk held around the base. In the fall, she had even more fun with this activity when she moved from the ten kilometer event to twenty. She was well on her way to earning her first 500 “klick” and 100 Volksmarch badge.
Blaire’s heart freezes over when she discovers she has to move to Alaska and then loses her mom in an accident. Once there, she finds a kindred spirit in Gerry and learns to open her heart again.
My ice skates safely tucked into their hard-sided bag, I walk out of the locker room. My mind whirls with all that I have to do before the big regional meet in a little less than two months, right before I start my senior year of high school. One thing I know that I can count on. I have no worries about anything preventing me from doing what had kept me sane the last seventeen years, eleven months, twenty-three days.
Well, it has actually only been fifteen years, eleven months, and twenty-three days. I didn’t begin ice skating until I was two. And I can’t wait to do regionals, even though the weather outside is hotter than hot, hot enough to as my dad loves to say, “fry an egg on the sidewalk.” Although why anyone would want to do that, I have no clue. Sounds pretty stupid to me. Then again, my dad is always suggesting dumb stuff, as if that will make up all the times he has totally messed up my life.
Wonder if we’ll go out to Grandma’s in California after regionals? We’ll have lots of time. School won’t start for a week after that. Maybe we can go to Disneyland again.
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force… except a series of inexplicable incidents with the F-16 fighter jets assigned to Luke AFB in 1988.
Staff Sergeant Kayla Watkins believes she’s found the answer to the incidents that have taken the lives of two dozen hot pilots. Nightly, she watches the march of those dead pilots, once again promising to find answers.
Technical Sergeant Trent Montrose gets the surprise of his life after the last crash, the morning of a planned inspection from higher headquarters. Ghost Flight marches past to him on their way to the flightline.
Office of Special Investigations undercover operative, Captain Jake Arnold, loathes his operation within the 58TTW with a “dream team” of non-coms whose sabotage is suspected to go all the way back to the waning days of the Vietnam conflict.
Romance, suspense, a base on the edge. The Arizona desert is harsh and unforgiving, as harsh and unforgiving as an aircraft unable to perform up to standards. Kayla, Derek, and Jake become a team dedicated to stopping the saboteurs before another good pilot dies.
Early in 1988, the young pilot completed his pre-flight check. The weather was certainly strange this time of year. April’s days scorched the life right out of a man, while the nights cooled to the point where he had to wear a flight jacket until he boarded his aircraft.
He did all he could do from the ground and nodded at the crew chief, one TSgt. Montrose. The man looked a bit old for this job and his rank, almost as if he was ready to retire, and he moved stiffly, as if his muscles bothered him. Yet, Captain Stover didn’t comment on that. His uncle had been a veteran of Vietnam, flying F-4 Phantom in missions over a countryside where he often couldn’t tell who was friend and who was foe. Having grown up on stories of young men testing their mettle in those aircraft, he’d joined the Air Force and signed on to become a pilot in time to be assigned a seat in the coveted F-16 Fighting Falcon.
“Fair skies, sir,” TSgt. Montrose saluted the captain. “May your wings fly true and bring you back safely.”
That was a saying his uncle had told him about, from ‘Nam. The captain stared at the non-com curiously.
“You served in ‘Nam?” Captain Stover asked.
“Proudly.” Pain not forgotten shadowed the non-com’s eyes. “I was there until the end, part of the bug out in 1975.”