Date Posted: 04-09-99
Author's Notes: Finally! It's finished! I knew from the start it was going to be a long one, but its length surprised even me. I wanted to write a story that would put Jim in uniform, but couldn't come up with a plausible reason short of re-activating him. There just isn't a valid reason for him to put on a dress uniform, even on Memorial Day. So, I compromised. Hopefully, you'll see what I mean when you read it. My main purpose for writing this particular story was to provide some real information that can be used by anyone who's interested in Jim's military background. I strove to stick as close to canon as possible, enhancing it with this story. The terms, abbreviations, and unit designations are accurate. In other words, if PetFly chose to give us some real background on Jim, they'd have to use some of what I've used in this story. Despite all the facts, etceteras, that I've crammed into this story, my betas assure me it's a good read. Judging by the amount of feedback I got when I posted the draft of the first half, I believe them. To those of you who did read the draft and wrote me, thank you! There have been some significant changes since then, so you'll want to start at the beginning again.
All that being said, here's a couple of other facts. Despite what we saw in "Remembrance," I maintain that Jim was born in '57 or '58. Mainly because if he enlisted without going to college first, it would have taken him ten years to make captain. And before any of you start clamoring "He could have made captain sooner," no he couldn't. Ten years is the minimum time frame. Sorry, that's just the way it is. On the other hand, either age works if he enlisted upon getting a 4-year degree, went to military school, or through a ROTC program in college. In such a case he would receive what's called a "Direct Commission" and he would have the rank of Second Lieutenant (2LT). He would make Captain in three years. The chopper went down March 14, 1988 (Switchman). The "News Update" cover is dated September 1989. The subtitle on Switchman reads "5 years later", that should, in theory, put their first meeting in 1995, but Susan has pointed out that Blair frequently states they've known each other for three years, which means they didn't meet until 1996. Ah well.
Acknowledgments: I have a long list of acknowledgments this time. First and foremost my husband of nearly eleven years, Bill (I met him in uniform :) ). Though he's less than keen on my obsession with fanfic, he patiently answered my questions concerning the Army. (I love hearing him talk about the Army.) He went through Wentworth Military Academy and spent seventeen years in the Army Reserves, ending up as a major. If you think the Reserves train just one weekend a month, well, it ain't necessarily so. He sometimes put in as much active duty time as a regular. Next, my friend Barbara, who frequently joins me in these endeavors. She, too, is a military wife. Her husband was a staff sergeant in the Marines, she knows sides of an enlisted man's life that I never could. Her help and occasional bashing are very much appreciated. Next, Susan L. Williams, HMG herself. She's great! She's betaed all of my TS fic to date, and she was my first cyber-friend in the TS world. She would beg and plead for more each time I sent her a bit to read. Her reaction to this story was a big boost to my ego, my first endeavor outside a missing scene. Next, D.L. Witherspoon. I brought her in about half way through, but she's been every bit as valuable getting this thing written as everyone else. She was able to see places where I was beginning to stray from character and get me back on track. And, for those of you who are familiar with her stories, you might recognize a character reference. I had plans for Adam Black, but after it was all said and done, he wasn't necessary. Thanks, D.L., for letting me borrow them. Last, but definitely not least, Robyn, for her help with a medical situation. It's nice to have our own resident "resident" in our little tribe. :)
Special Thanks: Special thanks and gratitude go to Chuck Payne. He's a member of Special Forces though I don't know what rank he is or what group he's with. A lot of the actual information for this story came from his web site. I couldn't ask him specific questions about Special Forces, but he was willing to answer a couple of general questions from this strange woman when my husband didn't know the answer. :) Here's the URL in case anybody's interested in checking it out. U.S.Army Special Forces: The Green Berets
Other sources included: United States Military Awards, Decorations ADVA Army Awards, Military Aircraft Archive: Helicopters (links no longer work)
Warnings: PG-13 for language and violence. I make references to events in many Sentinel episodes, among them Switchman, Secret, Survival, Love Kills, and Sentinel, Too. There are probably others that I'm forgetting. You should still enjoy the story, even if you haven't seen all these episodes. I take heavily from Switchman, but again, it's only references.
Disclaimer: The usual drill. I do not own the show or its characters. They belong to Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo and PetFly. The story and any characters you don't recognize from the show belong to me. No money is being made off this story.
Archive: Yes, by all means. Link to http://www.skeeter63.org/kandacek
Summary: That last mission to Peru once again rears its ugly head. Will Jim survive? Can his Guide help him?
I crave feedback. I even answer it. kandacek
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