This novel is dedicated to the following:
SSG John Thompson for his Army experience, foreign service, and honest reflections of events.
Amy Stell for her steadfast and keenly insightful copy reading.
Sharon Henderson for her enduring friendship and willingness to read my work for errors.
COL David Osterhout for his eye for detail and who wasn’t afraid say, “This is not your best. Fix it!”
And to my friends and compatriots who served with me and honored me by calling me Sir!
And to all the men and women in the U.S. military forces who have served, are serving, and will serve!
At 0800, and sometimes at sunrise, depending on the military installation, a detail of military personnel assembles at the flag pole in front of the headquarters building of the military installation. They assemble with the flag of the United States of America carried respectfully.
A cannon fires a blank round as a part of the ceremony. The detachment runs the flag rapidly up the flag pole. They take one step back. They render “Present Arms.” The bugler plays “Reveille.” “Reveille” is played over a public-address system all over the installation. Sometimes the "Charge" song is played. Whichever song is played, it is played as a "Start The Day" notice.
All over the military installation, the military personnel stop. Those riding in vehicles come to a controlled stop. They dismount from the vehicles. They face the headquarters building. They render the hand salute. If they are under arms, or if they are in formation, they render the command, “Present Arms.”
When the bugler finishes the “Start The Day" notice, the soldiers resume their tasks.
They don’t question why they do this. They do it because it is tradition. They do it because it is expected of them. They do it out of respect for the flag that they will carry into battle. They do it because they are proud to serve.
And so, the military day begins.
Jagwi Calls from an Undisclosed Location
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The Supreme and Glorious Leader’s Office
Pyongyang, North Korea
0800 hours Sierra Phone Call