Jennifer Haraldsson Sherman is now a Wife and Mother. She is also an Army Nurse serving in the Washington, DC area. With Vietnam heating up, she is uncomfortable thinking of the young Americans who will be going there to fight and die. She feels an obligation to once again serve her country, but she knows she will have to get the approval of her family first.
In Eastern Germany, Jennifer's old flame, Otto Bruner, is working hard for German reunification. He has to be careful, though, as his bosses in East Germany believe Communism is the way to go. Underneath, Otto strongly disagrees. One only has to compare the standard of living between East and West Germany to know that Otto's secret feelings are correct.
In this fascinating and hair-raising story, the author lays out the many challenges that are inherent in one of the most exciting periods in the history of the United States. As he did with previous novels in the series, the author ties the challenges faced by the leading characters with the most powerful people of the era. The novel includes U.S. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to George Herman Walker Bush. The result is a thriller with many twists and turns which brings the key surviving characters together in what can truly be considered the end of an era. This book is a must-read for all those who love a gripping story.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)|
Read an Excerpt
LEGENDS LIVE ON
Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and Berlin Wall Eras
By R. SAMUEL BATY
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2013 R. Samuel Baty
All rights reserved.
Jennifer Haraldsson Sherman sat at her desk in Walter Reed Hospital. She couldn't help but think about how lucky she was. Her husband Jim had turned out to be a great husband and father, and she had two adorable children: Jonathon (age 8) and Monica (age 6).
Jim had been very gracious in allowing their first-born to be named after Jennifer's first beau, Jonathon "Dude" Partude. Dude had been killed on the mission that Jennifer and he had been sent on to Norway at the start of World War II. Some things never change, Jennifer thought as she shook her head. She and Dude were sent to Norway to try and get a renowned atomic physicist out from behind German lines. The hierarchical thinking was that the Germans might get more out of the physicist than deemed prudent if they captured him. Thus, the two young, uniquely qualified American lieutenants—Jennifer and Dude—were sent on the extremely dangerous mission to try and rescue the atomic physicist from behind enemy lines. And just think, she told herself. It's as important today as it was back then to try and keep atomic weapons out of the wrong hands!
As for her daughter, the youngster would more-than-likely have been named after her long-time friend, Molly. However, this name had been selected by British General Francis Dunbar, also an old friend, for his first-born daughter. Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise, as it allowed Jim and me to select the name 'Monica' for our daughter. And we were able to do it without feeling any guilt! Monica was Molly's sister, and, when Molly couldn't go to Korea because of her duties as a wife and mother, Monica stepped in. Thus, when Jennifer thought about it, Monica had become just as stalwart and loyal a friend as Molly had been.
And, thank goodness, all of Jennifer's close friends were doing well. Molly's son, Todd, was now 12 and doing great in school. Molly seemed to immensely enjoy her role as wife and mother, and husband Bill was thriving in the civilian world. Bill had worked his way up to Senior Vice President in a technical services firm, and Molly would occasionally gripe that Bill had to spend too much time at work. Jennifer would take the opportunity to give Molly a pep talk, reminding her that she was very fortunate that Bill adapted to the civilian world after retiring as an Army Brigadier General. Jennifer pointed out that there was more-than-one General Officer who couldn't satisfactorily make the transition. And Molly would grudgingly agree.
Then there was Monica, Molly's sister, who had married Zach Barton in a joint ceremony with Jim and Jennifer. Monica definitely marched to her own drummer, Jennifer thought with a smile. Monica still worked with Jennifer at Walter Reed Hospital, but she had sewn some wild oats during her years of marriage. Thankfully, Zach understood—or at least Jennifer thought so. He had been very patient, allowing Monica to take flying lessons and to participate in dare-devil stunts such as rafting down the wild rivers of the western United States. While Monica professed to want to start a family, Jennifer wasn't so sure. Somehow, she couldn't picture Monica taking on all of the burdens associated with motherhood. Oh well, that's her decision—not mine.
And she couldn't help but think of Francis Dunbar, who had kept in close contact with her ever since America's entry into World War II. He was now a three-star General in the British Army, and only a notch away from being Field Marshal. The position of Field Marshal was at the very top of the British Army.
Frank, as he was called by his close friends, had risen in rank even after Winston Churchill had resigned as British Prime Minister. It was well known that Dunbar was a favorite of Churchill's dating back to the epoch struggle with Nazi Germany. He had gained Churchill's trust and was a member of the Prime Minister's inner circle. But once Churchill resigned in 1955, Dunbar's star kept right on rising. It was now obvious to all that Dunbar was getting promoted because of his own abilities. Would he become Field Marshal? Jennifer wasn't sure, but she sure hoped so!
Jennifer's own inner circle wouldn't be complete without mentioning Otto Bruner, the German Officer who was wounded at Normandy and cared for by Jennifer and Molly Davis in the American Field Hospital close to Omaha Beach. Jennifer and Otto became romantically attracted to each other, but she rejected him when she found that he was at least partially responsible for the death of her first love, Dude Partude. But her close friends and allies—including Francis Dunbar—convinced her that Bruner was only doing his duty and that she should give him a fair chance. Thus, after the war ended, she embarked on a mission to find Otto. After finally finding him in war-torn Europe behind the Iron Curtain, the two of them—Otto and Jennifer—decided that it would be too difficult for them to become romantically involved. Jennifer marveled though, as she sat in her office reminiscing, that she had been able to keep up with him after all of these years.
And Otto, shunning the great dangers of crossing into the American zone, had actually come to her wedding! He was without a doubt one of her closest friends. Thus, it was a great comfort to her to get information on Otto through her husband Jim's connection to the Intelligence community. She had found from the bits and pieces that Jim gave her that Otto was definitely a rising star in East German politics. His clean past and strength of character were propelling him forward.
And then there was her present and past boss, Brad Taylor. How very lucky I am to have Brad, Jennifer told herself. Taylor was now in his fifties, with graying hair edging in around the temples. His own children were now young adults, and he no longer performed operations. Instead, he allowed the younger doctors to take this responsibility. But, to Jennifer, he remained the staunchest of friends and a confidante extraordinaire.
Taylor also showed up bright and early at the office and handled the duties of hospital administrator in exemplary fashion. When asked by the younger doctors how long he intended to stay, Taylor would stroke his chin and reply, "Oh, probably until I drop." Jennifer sure hoped so!
Jennifer leaned back in her chair and weighed her own situation. How long would she remain in nursing? She wasn't sure, but she did know that nursing was a most worthwhile and fulfilling profession. Like her boss, Dr. Brad Taylor, Jennifer no longer subjected herself to the day-to-day rigors of her profession—except on an emergency basis. She no longer 'scrubbed' to assist in operations, for example. Instead, she concentrated on the administrative side of being the head nurse.
But Jennifer had to admit that she still had a passion for helping others. This is why she spent time daily with patients who had never recovered mentally and psychologically from combat. While she did not have a degree in psychology, she found that she had a knack for listening to others and suggesting helpful courses of action. And her abilities in this field had not gone unnoticed. Brad Taylor had actively encouraged her to go back to school, but she had a real problem with this course of action. Would it be fair to her husband and children? She didn't think so, at least for now.
And then there was the world situation or crisis as it were. The French had been tossed out of Indo-china, and it would be up to the United States to keep South Vietnam safe from takeover by the Communist north. She thought that the current U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, would not want to get the country involved. At least that's what he had said in speeches. But there were strong currents pushing the U.S. in the other direction. And, according to the newspapers, the U.S was already sending ground units to the region. Thus, she surmised, it would only be a matter of time before the country was heavily involved.
Could she stand to idly sit by and not go to Vietnam if the situation intensified? She was not sure. She had already served in two wars, and she knew that a need for nurses would be great. A nurse with her experience would be invaluable if not indispensable. But she knew that she would not have Brad Taylor going with her. After all, Brad was too old for the rigors of heading a hospital in a combat zone. But Monica Davis Barton? She might crave the opportunity. And it would be a blessing to have Monica once again at her side.
Jennifer also knew that she would be torn if a situation arose due to her personal circumstances. After all, she was now a wife and mother, something she had not been during the previous two conflicts. Her husband and mentor, Jim Sherman, had been great up to now. Would it be too much on him to have to raise the kids if she went off to war? She wasn't sure, but she knew that she would have to bring the issue up with him.
Luckily, to Jennifer's way of thinking, Jim Sherman had just come back from a remote tour in which he had to go without his family. Jennifer noticed that he was working exceptionally hard to get back in the good graces of the kids as well as with her. He obviously knew that it had been hard on his family having to get along without him. All of this, she thought, may make him more receptive to being at home without me. Time would certainly tell if this were the case provided that she did feel the urge to once again serve.
Having just completed an unaccompanied tour, Jennifer was pretty sure that Sherman would have a full three years in the D.C. area. This was a big plus as far as she was concerned. It would allow her to at least explore going to Vietnam. But first she would have to determine if it would be okay with her children. This, along with permission from her husband, would be paramount.
As she sat contemplating the future, two young people stuck their head in the door. Both were smiling as Jennifer looked up. She was puzzled, as she didn't recognize them.
"You don't remember us, do you?" the young man asked.
"I'm sorry, but I don't. Should I?"
"I would be very disappointed if you did," the young lady said. "We have obviously changed a lot, but you haven't. I would recognize you if I passed you on the street." The young man nodded in agreement.
They had only a very slight accent. Something familiar about these two, but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.
"Can you give me a hint?" Jennifer asked. "You two do seem vaguely familiar now that I think about it, but I can't quite place you."
"All right," the young man said. "We met you in East Germany at a very bad time for us. Does this help?"
Now the light started to dawn on Jennifer. "Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! You must be Dieter and Birgit Sigfried!" Jennifer rushed over and threw her arms around her two visitors as tears welled up in her eyes.
By the time the three finished with the embrace, tears of joy were rolling down each of their faces.
"You can't believe all the times that Molly and I have talked about you," Jennifer gushed out. "We wondered how you were and what you were doing. You just can't believe how glad I am to see you, and I know Molly will feel the same way." Jennifer pulled out two chairs for her visitors, and the three sat down.
"Now tell me what you two have been doing," Jennifer said, "and don't leave any of the details out."
"As if you didn't know," Dieter said. "If it weren't for your husband, Colonel Jim Sherman, it's very doubtful that we would be here." Birgit nodded.
"Well, that old so and so!" Jennifer said with mock anger. "Jim doesn't tell me anything, so I'm shocked to see you. And I know Molly will be, too."
The two young Germans giggled. "Are you sure about that?" Birgit said. "Bill Summerfield has been working alongside your husband to get us over here."
Jennifer was amazed. "If Molly knows anything about this, she sure hasn't said anything to me. But I'll find out tonight when I call her."
"I should clear up one issue," Dieter said. "The only way we could come is by my agreeing to join the Army and Birgit agreeing to go to Nurse's training. Once we signed paperwork confirming our intentions, your husband was able to get us out of East Germany and on our way here."
Jennifer nodded. "One thing I should do up front is ask about my friend, Otto Bruner. Do you know anything about him, and if so, how is he doing?"
The two young Germans just looked at each other for a moment. Birgit spoke first. "If it's the Otto Bruner we're thinking of, he's doing fine. His star is definitely rising, as he is highly respected by the East Germans. He had a clean record during the war, and that counts for a lot."
"I would guess," Dieter added, "that he is being groomed to take over as President of East Germany. After all, Walter Ulbricht is getting up in years, and Bruner is someone the people would accept."
Jennifer was pleased. "I think he would make a fine President. He is someone the West could work with."
"But he would have to watch his step," Birgit rebutted. "After all, the Communists rule the roost over there."
Dieter agreed, and Jennifer figured it was time to find out about the two young people in her office. "But enough of the politics. What about you two?"
"There's nothing much to tell," Dieter said. "But I do have to say that the Adler family was perfect for us. They were, as you probably recall, the people who took us in. Mr. and Mrs. Adler treated us as if we were their own, and I'm sure they sacrificed substantially by putting us through school."
"And Armin and Kristin became like our own brother and sister," Kristin added. "As a matter of fact, I like them better than Dieter."
Kristin gave Dieter a playful shove, and he frowned in return.
They remind me of my two, Jennifer thought as an amused look crossed her face. "Tell me about your education," she said.
"We each had two years of college at the local university," Dieter related. "I'm sure this will qualify me to do well in your army, and Birgit should get through your Nurse's training without any problem.
Jennifer asked the name of the college they attended, and she busily made some notes. She asked about any special interests they had. Both said they liked to play soccer.
"Anything else?" she asked. Both shook their head.
"Well, in that case," Jennifer said, "I think we should go. You'll both be staying at our house tonight. I can assure you that my two kids will love you."
As they walked out of Jennifer's office, Dieter and Birgit asked about Jennifer's children—Jonathon and Monica—and about life in America. Jennifer responded by telling them of her children's ages and interests. She also told them what she thought their lives in a new country would be like.
"I'm sure you two will do extremely well. I can tell that you will be hard workers no matter what field you eventually take up."
Jennifer's two guests thanked her as they loaded their few belongings into her car. Jennifer could tell that being in a new country was traumatic for them. I've got to keep reassuring them, she told herself. She was sure that her husband, Jim, and the Summerfield's would do the same.
The drive to Jennifer's home went by quickly. By the time they pulled into Jennifer's driveway, Jennifer felt that she was up to speed on what had happened to her two guests in their young lives. How time flies, she thought. Both of them are well into their twenties!
As Jennifer pulled into her driveway, she saw her husband, Jim, out playing with the two children. When the two little ones saw her, they quit playing and ran over to greet their Mother. Jennifer threw open her car door and went out to greet them.
"How are my two little munchkins?" she said eagerly as she bent down to kiss them and to hold them tightly. By now, Dieter and Birgit had gotten out of the car, and, with an amused look on their faces, they watched the activity. Soon, Jim Sherman approached and greeted the two foreigners.
"How was the trip over?" he asked.
"Without incident," Dieter replied.
By now, Jennifer had stood up. Jonathon was holding onto one of her legs and Monica the other. She introduced the two children to her guests.
After a quick kiss for her husband, Jennifer asked him why she hadn't been informed that the two young Germans were on their way over.
Excerpted from LEGENDS LIVE ON by R. SAMUEL BATY. Copyright © 2013 R. Samuel Baty. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.