Now you might wonder why does the book start in Afghanistan? I’m not really sure, it just did. I’d spent time playing doctor in Nepal and India and I’d also been a doctor in the Navy. The truth is that my story decided on its own to begin in that war-ravaged land.
Afghanistan is rich in history. Starting 60,000 years ago until modern times it has been a crossroad between Africa, Europe, and the orient. Alexander was here as was Genghis Khan. Later came the British, the Russians and more recently, the Americans. There have been few times Afghanistan has not been aflame with war and religious strife. Important to our story, this poor country is also the origin of much of the world’s heroin.
In the early afternoon the Bazaar was still teeming with burka clad women, their younger counterparts often dressed less conservatively in long skirts or shapeless pants, blouses, and headscarves. No matter their attire, all were noisily bargaining with the many shop owners. Dust flying, children happily racing in and out adding to the din. Boys in dirty Mickey Mouse shirts, hand-me-down sweaters and patched, worn pants kicked misshapen soccer balls toward imaginary goals. Girls in a colorful assortment of pullover and bright little dresses tugged at their mothers’ skirts. Here and there, scrawny, dirt smeared, semi-starved dogs snarled and fought over the fly covered offal of just-butchered goats and chickens. The smell of rotting fruit, exotic spices, and the excrement of dogs, horses, and humans perfumed the air. — Page 48
“There, by the river ….” Pointed Lieutenant Fuller. “Our landing site.”
As Fuller spoke, the big aircraft tilted sharply to the left and began a rapid descent. Ready lights blinking, the Marines stood quickly, unhitched seat restraints and picked up their M-16’s and packs. Fuller, holding onto the overhead straps, watched the huge rear ramp slowly drop as they neared the ground. With a jolt the big craft struck and the Marines poured out onto the road. Even as Jeff and Caroline jumped down to join the fast moving men, the whine of turbine blades overhead increased their tempo and with a sudden lurch the Sea Stallion rose rapidly into the sky. — Page 76