Gordon L Bocher served 11 1/2 years in the Air Force. He flew 177 combat rides as a Fire Control Officer (FCO) aboard the AC –130A Gunship. As a rescue navigator, Bocher participated in the abortive attempt to rescue the 53 hostages held in Iran. Throughout his service, Bocher was awarded two Distinguished Flying Cross medals, eight Air Medals, the Purple Heart, the Conspicuous Service Award from Gov. Mario Cuomo (NY) and two nominations for the Silver Star. The author’s personal story was chronicled in two front-page stories in Newsday, People magazine, the Colorado Star, the Veterans of Foreign Wars magazine and was featured in “The Book of Man” (pp 417-424) by William Bennett (9/29/11). This story provides an accurate history of the end stages of the Vietnam War and has been placed in the Oral history section of the Library of Congress. Mr. Bocher also worked as an air-traffic control specialist for 27 years.
The central figure in the story is a young man named Mitch Lavin. He was raised by his great-aunt when his parents were killed when he was six years old. At seventeen years of age, Mitch gets a full scholarship to Widmark College, where he plays center midfielder on the school’s soccer team. In his senior year, two beautiful coeds so severely mistreat him that he flees the school to take a job with Mining Consortium International (MCI) as an overseas mining expert. Mitch is sent primarily to northern Afghanistan to find potential mining sites for ore containing the rare elements needed for national defense. The story revolves around his interactions with his boss, Gen. Creighton Wheeler, and his administrative assistant, Miss Emma Waterson.
Emma is an attractive woman who projects a strong and mystical sense of serenity to those who come into her milieu. Mitch, a very good-looking young man, is attracted to this young lady because his soul is in turmoil. His feelings toward Emma significantly deepen as he gets to know her. He knows he has to overcome his past, and he turns, at the suggestion of Gen. Wheeler, to MCI’s in-house psychiatrist, Dr. Linda House, for counseling.
The narrative details Mitch’s long struggle to find mental balance and some happiness in life while overcoming what was done to him in the past and how it affects his ability to deal with problems in the present.