T he call comes in around eight p. He knows every call, however infrequent, could be a matter of life or death. When Air Force Master Sergeant Swann was deployed, as he was for tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, these calls would come in three times a day. A land mine had been hidden in the sand, or an improvised explosive device IED had been stashed in the trunk of an abandoned car on the side of the road. A typical example: Back in , construction workers breaking ground on the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta inadvertently dug up a Civil-War era cannonball, which turned out to be a live round containing gunpowder and ball bearings. Swann grabs his government flip phone and finds a quiet corner.
When she's not writing, she can be found dodging raindrops and daydreaming of her next book. Noelle lives in Bothell, Washington, with her husband and two children. What is a hero? The women who flew were bound by spirit and duty, bravery and skill… and bonded by their love of country and a job they knew they could do well. Some say they could handle those planes better than many of the men.
At a small United States Air Force installation in eastern Wyoming, I'm sitting at an electronic console, ready to unleash nuclear hell. In front of me is a strange amalgamation of '60s-era flip switches and modern digital display screens. It's the control console for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile or ICBM. On an archaic display screen in the center of the console, three large letters blink in rapid succession.
The capsule is the size of a shipping container. At one end is a single bunk sectioned off by a red blackout curtain. At the other is a stall with a toilet and sink, like an airplane bathroom. The air feels that way, too: recycled and somewhat stale.