As promised, here’s a short recap of Heir Force. We first meet John and Kate who are both active duty and dating each other. But John has a secret and gets killed overseas without telling Kate what it is. Spencer, a friend of both John and Kate, knows this secret and wished John had shared it with Kate prior to his death.
Previously on HFN: Spencer’s Secret
Scott Air Force Base spreads across over 3,500 acres in the western part of southern Illinois and employed about 5,500 active duty personnel, another 2,300 Air National Guard and Reserve members and close to 5,000 civilian employees. Adding over 1.5 billion dollars to the area’s economy, it’s considered one of the largest employers in the state.
Several times the base has narrowly missed the base closing and realignment list. Named after the first enlisted man who died in an air accident back in 1912, Corporal Frank S. Scott, the base has since grown to include many groups under the 375th Air Mobility Wing, and under each group, several squadrons. Kate, John, Spencer, Andrew and other friends worked for the Security Forces Squadron, or SFS for short. Kate sometimes thought it was all rather complicated and was glad she didn’t have to keep it all straight.
She was having a hard enough time keeping her life straight. John and Ruth were now both gone, and she was fretful of one and relieved of the other. Each day that passed, seemed to make Kate feel worse. She said a quick prayer each night and morning for John, not sure that anybody heard them, she not being particularly religious.
Previously on Heir Force: Kate Reflects at Work
Spencer stood inside the door, thinking about what he thought Kate felt. Spencer knew why John hadn’t used the ‘love’ word with Kate and he also knew that’s what she was waiting for. But she was too proud to probe John. Spencer hoped John would step up to the plate when he returned from Iraq in three-and-a-half months. Spencer found it difficult to keep John’s secret and even harder to keep it from Kate.
Spencer followed Kate a few seconds behind her and headed in the opposite direction for his Acura. He tried to push his feelings for Kate aside. He knew John beat him to her and had to respect that. But he also knew Kate would be in for a shock when John returned. Because Spencer was going to urge John to tell Kate his secret. They couldn’t keep their relationship in limbo forever because of his secret.
Spencer worried how Kate would react if something happened to John. How would she handle hearing the reason behind John’s secrecy? As Spencer drove home, he fervently wished nothing would happen to John of course, and prayed for his safety. Not only for Kate, but for a little girl in Iowa.
Spencer sighed, letting the wind blow his blond hair every which way. There wasn’t anything he could do about it now.
Next time on Heir Force: Scott Air Force Base Facts
Previously on Heir Force, Ruth Strikes.
The next night Kate and John were eating dinner at Spencer’s place along with Andrew, an airman friend of Spencer’s. Kate didn’t really want to do the group thing with John leaving so soon, but they’d made these plans weeks ago around their various schedules.
And her contribution to the meal- the most important part- happened to be dessert. Something chocolate and loaded with heavy calories had been requested.
Spencer lived in a comfortable two-bedroom condo owned by a widow who lived next door. Martha and her husband bought both sides years ago, and rented out the other side to a military family or person for as long as they needed it. They never had any problems, according to what Spencer had told her and John once. Kate knew that since her husband died a year or so ago, that Spencer checked in on her and did small handyman projects for her. She always calls him her ‘nice young man’. Kate smiled thinking about it.
She didn’t mind them getting together, but the timing wasn’t the best. She would prefer just her and John go out, which they will do in a day or two. They didn’t seem to have as much alone time anymore.
Previously on Heir Force, Kate Worried.
That afternoon, Ruth struck again, with her snide comments. “You think you’re so smart, Langston. I bet you cheated. Somehow, I bet you did.” Kate ignored her sneering lie and focused on her reports. She opened the one she’d started before lunch so she could finish it– if her nemesis would leave her alone. She continued with her report of a drug incident in base housing last night.
Somebody else heard Ruth and hollered, “Hey, Langston, you gonna help me study for my test next month? I could use your brains.”
Previously on Heir Force, we met Kate and John. Today, see why Kate Worries:
Leaning back on the car seat, Kate watched a pair of sparrows sparring on the curb, while she considered exactly how she felt. If she were to name the feeling, it would be fear. The realization made her shudder. But why? Fear of what? That John would meet someone else? That he would get hurt? That they would grow apart? There was always a chance of danger, everyday in the life of an airman, whether in their field of Security Forces or not. You certainly can’t control the lunatics in the world that hate Americans and all they stand for.
Kate met John and Spencer at Peterson AFB in Colorado a couple years ago where they were doing tactical training. Spencer and John had been friends for several years, stationed at two prior bases together, and with Kate, they made a trio. Kate had fallen for John, but liked Spencer too. Then the three got split up, sent to three different bases, and now were all together again at Scott. Kate and John had stayed in touch with letters, emails and calls. Occasionally she had emailed Spencer, too. Then John and Kate both arrived at Scott within a month of each other and renewed their friendship, which over the last year had blossomed into some sort of love relationship, though John hadn’t actually used the ‘love’ word. Yet. Kate still held hope.
Let’s get this adventure started! A friend shared a phrase once from Joyce Meyer, “Do it afraid”, so here I am, doing it afraid! Here goes:
Kate Langston sat next to John Kern, apprehension on her face. Both wore the United States Air Force uniform: black t-shirts, camouflage pants, black boots. They sat on a lumpy cushion on the donated castaway sofa, in the lounge of building 755, the Security Forces Building. Kate and her boyfriend were currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base Illinois, about twenty miles east of St. Louis, Missouri.
Kate didn’t like this situation, but felt helpless. Everything was out of her control and she didn’t like it one bit. She should be used to it by now, having lived the Air Force life for the past ten years. Her time, her wishes, and her desires were not her own.
“Just put one foot in front of the other, Kate. You’ll be fine.” John turned toward Kate, his blue eyes pleading.
“Ugh–you know how Ruth is. She’ll make my life miserable.”
“Kate, just carry on. Don’t worry about her.” John started to say more, but changed his mind.