A NAVY FAMILY
By Douglas J Cook
This is a true story that almost happened.
During the fall of 2005 my son was flying his F-18 Hornet fighter/bomber over Iraq in response to a band of Shiite militia fighters attacking a U.S. military convoy traveling north out of Basra. My son’s mission was to make a low-pass show-of-force over the convoy to scare away the attackers. SCARE AWAY INDEED! Instead of fleeing, they opened up a hail storm of small arms fire and R.P.G.s at my son. They missed, but this incident caused me to ask the question, “What if?”
NAVY FAMILY takes the story forward as if one of the RPGs had found its mark. Jeremy Walker becomes a prisoner of Islamic terrorists and dragged into the mountains of Iran near the Iraq border. In a gamble to show the world that Americans don’t have the stomach for war; Sheikh Ismail Al-Asadi makes an offer through an Al-Jazeera broadcast to release Jeremy to his father. When Andy Cox, Jeremy’s step-father, gets there he finds out they lied.
Andy shows up at the border prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best. The terrorists are dismayed as they felt for sure that their offer would be ignored. Now they must deal with Andy. They put him through two days of grueling interrogation trying to get him to say something damning. A battle of theology between a devout Christian and an Islamic Imam ensues with Andy and his son’s life being at stake. Andy must walk the line between defending his faith and not blaspheming against the Muslim religion.
Failing to trip up the American, Sheikh Al-Asadi can not allow himself to be bested in a game that he started and in a contest where he made the rules. To save face he changes the rules once more. One of the two has to stay behind to be executed for the crimes of the United States against Islam. Andy surprises them again by choosing himself to remain. Giving up on the game, the Sheikh has thugs pounce on Jeremy on the street below Andy’s cell window slaying him before his father’s eyes.
While Act III is about Andy’s two day ordeal in Iran, Act II consists of Andy traveling to Iraq with State Department representative, Estella. In a series of flashbacks Steve relives his life with Jeremy from a four-year-old boy to a strapping young naval officer. Jeremy, his mother, and sister had been abandoned by the father when Jeremy was only two years old. As a child, he watched the famous Blue Angels flying over head and dreamed the impossible dream of being a Navy pilot and maybe a Blue Angel someday. Then Navy Chief Andrew Cox shows up at his front door to date his mother and Jeremy’s life takes off moving from a rundown trailer on an Alabama back-country lot to a Naval air station on the island of Hawaii.
Every day on the news we hear about U.S. military personnel dying. Each one of these brave men and women had a past, a family, and all the reason in the world to live. This is your chance to get to know one of these magnificent patriots who put their lives on the line to protect this country.
© 2006 by Douglas J Cook