Been working on a trilogy about an fictional USAF pilot from 1963-73 and here is a chapter on the first trilogy called "Recon Over the Mekong" ...about halfway done with the second trilogy now....looks promising to finish this year...let me know what you think. Chapter VI: Touching Bases The afternoon sun was high overhead when I finally wrapped up my briefing with Colonel Garcia at the hanger. Boy he ran a tight but efficient maintenance operations I said to myself and I bet his readiness reports proved it. I had a deep feeling he'll end up as a brigadier general in the next few years unless some major airlines like Pan Am or United snatches him away with a better offer..which has happened before. So I decided to head back over to Base Ops and check-in again about any updates and ask Colonel Hawkins a few questions myself. It was close to 90 degrees by now and the humidity almost as much as I started the car up. Even though I have been stationed here in Thailand for almost a year now..I still haven't quite got adjusted to the humidity. For growing up in Arizona as a young kid it was all about the "dry heat". Sure like to go back to Tucson sometime soon for it had been too many years since I last saw my parents and the rest of my immediate family members. I pulled in my usual spot at Base Ops and once again went inside. This time of day it was rather subdued..just a few key personal around and the air conditioner did feel good as I walked down to Colonel Hawkins office. A young WAF second lieutenant suddenly came around the corner carrying a stack of papers and we almost collided. "Oh excuse me Captain..sorry I didn't see you" she replied. "No excuse me Lieutenant..do you know if Colonel Hawkin is in?" I asked. "I believe so sir..you have to excuse me sir but I have to get this stuff filed before I leave tonight". I hadn't notice her here before..she must be new I thought as we went in opposite directions but definitely nice legs. Colonel Hawkins door was open but still I knocked. "Do you have a minute Colonel?" I asked. "Come on in Captain..actually I was about to find you..we have some new updates on your mission..shut the door please and have a seat". I felt rather curious about what he had to say as I quietly shut the door, saluted him and sunk into a nearby leather chair. "First off Captain..we are getting more and more pressure from the South Vietnamese government on this buildup along their borders with Laos and Cambodia and exactly what we are doing in stopping this flow of supplies..second..the Joint Chiefs is advising McNamara to use SAC bombers for the first time to strike Hanoi and to mine Haiphong harbor... things are changing rapidly Captain and I can see American total involvement in the very near future". He paused and lit up a cigarette. "So your mission is vital to the current situation of this aggression from the North and if we can stop this threat somehow now..maybe..just maybe we can hold off the inevitable for awhile or maybe both countries will come to some type of peaceful agreement..for I am sure you have seen on the news about those demonstrations in Saigon and that monk burning himself to death in the middle of the street..this is a different kind of war Captain.... something the French eventually found out at Dien Bien Phu in '54". He paused again and took a deep puff from his cigarette and continued his little pep talk. "We aren't politicians Captain and we don't make foreign policy but if we can somehow "alter" the outcome, then maybe we have done our job over here". He stopped and looked straight into my eyes for an reply. "Colonel you are right..we aren't politicians but career officers fulfilling a duty to uphold the orders from our Commander-in-Chief..I will give 110% to this upcoming mission if that is what you are aiming at sir". By this time I had forgotten what I was going to asked him when I walked in. He smiled with approval, snubbed out his cigarette and stood up. I quickly rose from my chair too. "Captain your final briefing is at 2000..go get some sleep or something because you will need all of your energy later on". "Yes sir" and gave him one of best salutes to date and quietly left his office.