|Dedication: To Capt. John R. Hill,
Medevac Chopper Pilot, MIA in Vietnam since April 27, 1970. The VIVA bracelet
that bears his name has been on my wrist for over 30 years. May we never
forget those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom.
Acknowledgements: This story has been a long time coming. My heartfelt thanks to everybody out there on the ‘net for your continuing interest. And……
First and foremost – my family. We’ve been through 2 deployments "over there", school plays, soccer practice, swimming lessons, homework, night shifts in the ER and all the other myriad things that make up a "normal" family life and still they are all talking to me after my hours at the keyboard saying "just a second, just a second" as I finish a paragraph. Everyone should be so lucky as to have my family. I love you guys.
Peggy – without whom there wouldn’t have been a story at all. She got me back to writing after 20 years and forced me (really!) to string words together in a sensible order. The seed of this story grew partially out of a storyline we had been playing with (and I DO mean playing) and when I realized how much I wanted to write my part of it as a stand-alone, canon ToD story, Peggy was gracious enough to stand by me. Peg – wax the skis, it’s almost time for a vacation!
Meryn – a new friend with a prodigious knowledge of grammar. 20 years is a long time not to write anything but patient charts and notes to teachers – I forgot so much. Many thanks for patiently reading this monstrosity and pointing out my copious (don’t you mean numerous?) mistakes with tact and humor. Floridians – unite!
KitKat - a million thanks for being the poor soul who proofed the web pages as they were put up. There were some very "interesting" errors, I know! I appreciate your time, your effort and your friendship! Not to mention how much I enjoy reading YOUR stories! Ooops, just mentioned it.
Lee Russell – an old friend (is that old FRIEND or OLD friend?) who has tried mightily to keep me correct militarily. All mistakes are mine and are deliberate for either dramatic license or to annoy Lee. (Just kidding, Lee, well, about the annoying part, anyway) Mr. Russell kindly found a way to place a woman on an American SOG base that is based on reality. American female doctors have worked their trade in combat zones since 1953. Although we have no evidence that there were ever any female doctors on forward bases during the Vietnam conflict, there is no real reason why not (and if anyone out there knows a good reason, please e-mail me and let me know!). And so, Under the Gun is based on this premise. Also thank you for your assistance in creating Sergeant Royal P. Hall, who has as detailed a bio as any of the canon characters. Thank you, Lee, for your support and your friendship – both are priceless to me.
DC – ah, DC, beta-reader extraordinaire. I read a story of DC’s a little over a year ago (Illusions in Green) and e-mailed her how much I enjoyed it. Little did we know the trouble to which this would lead! DC made me look at my little story (and it did start out small) and find all the nuances hidden within. She made me find the writer I used to be back in college and write better than the kid I once was. Under the Gun would have been finished long ago had it not been for DC. And would have been quickly swept under the rug. DC, thank you for making me work, for making me see all that this story could be and for standing there while I kept on pounding the keys trying to make it happen. And for never doubting me. Not once. Amazing. And also, thanks for being my friend, for coming down here and walking the beach, talking character and plot lines, watching Lee’s recommended movies (yes, Lee, DC watched them while I napped), making the rounds of the local Hueys and having your photo taken at each and every one of them (LOL!)! Life is better for having you in it; everyone should be so lucky to have such a friend. Peace and love to you, DC always.