THE DUTY CREW chronicles December 25, 1972, the last Christmas of the Vietnam War at Queens Naval Hospital, Long Island. The North Vietnam president’s goal is to accelerate peace talks by bringing violence to all military hospitals in the United States. Ho Chi Minh has an agenda of terrorism and murder for the Duty Crew at Queens Naval Hospital to incite U.S. public reactions against the war, while President Nixon wants to end the war by political arbitration.
Three women become aware of the internal and external assault on Queens Naval Hospital. Movie Star Iona Dell spends Christmas in Hanoi as her fans promote an activist presence at the U.S. military hospitals. She realizes too late that Hanoi has American sympathizers directing terrorism outside and within their walls. Newswoman Thule Thornbush wants only anti-war slanting of the adverse events on this Christmas Day in the hope she will obtain a position on the staff of the New York Times. LT Minerva Zettler as the Duty Crew Nurse-of-the-Day identifies the deaths as murders and raises the issue of intrigue inside the hospital. Her fiancé, LT Paul Norman as Junior Medical Officer-of-the-Day realizes that Zettler’s life is in danger by the murderer inhalation therapy technician. It takes the small Navy and Marine Security Duty Crew and mobilization of the Hospital’s Vietnam returnee patients to stem Ho Chi Minh’s plans for death and destruction on American soil. The events on this Christmas Day forever alter the lives of the three women.
As a retired physician I’m devoting my time to writing novels, memoir-based fiction and short stories. My life as an author of fiction began in 2003 after a few years at Toastmasters International delivering captivating stories and speeches. I believe literature should be educational, fun, serious, full of feelings and always with a touch of fantasy and a thread of truth. Like all my novels true lifetime situations are interwoven with suspenseful and intriguing story lines. My 13 novels and short story book bear that philosophy out. Reviews of my books in Amazon.com have been 5-star. Comments for WHO WILL WEEP FOR ME such as “high school coming of age makes the story feel authentic and make the reader want more” is typical of reader satisfaction.
I live with my wife in San Antonio near my daughter and her family with four of my grandchildren. My goal as an author is to publish several novels a year with my novel portraying terrorism in the US, - OCEAN CITY HQ - recently published..
Thule Thornbush was not unique to the pressure of "get out of the war fever". Getting a scoop with highlights of negative press at a Navy hospital on Christmas Day was the compulsive redhead's goal but not her assignment. She arrived at Queens Naval Hospital prejudging what she thought would make headlines and get her a promotion to a more prestigious newspaper like the NY times.
Reporter Thornbush would use any means to slant her Christmas Day with wounded warriors in order to sell papers. The arrival of a drunken Santa Clause and the death of an Egyptian pilot flying for the US were good for starters. but there was much more to come on this birthday of the Prince of Peace.
THE DUTY CREW
Thule Thornbush felt her career-clock was ticking and that she had to make the most out of today. It was her last real shot at a scoop and a possible permanent byline at the Manhattan Record. If everything worked out right, she could even vie for a position at the New York Times. At age 32 her biological-clock was also ticking. Her journalistic career incentive had been all consuming. She used relationships for sex and job-related advantageous positioning only. No children, family or emotional entanglements were on her agenda until her work environment was as secure as she envisioned it had to be. Her goal was to become Human Relations Editor first at the Manhattan Record and then at a more nationally read paper like the New York Times. At Boston University her journalism major concentrated on the “History of the Humanities in the Media”. Her Masters thesis earned her the initial position on the Manhattan Record. The title of her thesis–“Minority Headlines are the Majority of Headlines”–had been a real eye-opener for both her and her professors.