So, I was thinking this morning it might be fun to show some of what inspired the story of Faction. Several months ago, while I was working on a novel an idea popped in my head. I won't mention my working title for the time becasue it will conjure images that don't completely apply to Faction, but when the idea came, I had to write it down right away. This was an early bio of one Acker Kinney, covering his early adulthood. Enjoy!
Acker Kinney – I once thought that life was so complex; the things I did in life were never easy. I enlisted in the Marines the day of my 18th birthday… It was a present from me to me. I could have gone onto college and tried to become an officer, but with what was going on in the Middle East, I just couldn’t wait to go and do something with myself. The recruiter promised me I could be whatever I wanted to be in the Marines, so I said I wanted to be infantry. Boot camp wasn’t a breeze, but I did better in there than a lot of the grunts to my left and right.
Shortly after boot camp, we trained in the “deserts” of Camp Pendleton. We had classes on tactics, hand-to-hand combat, rifles, pistols, and pretty much anything we could get our hands on. We learned to identify ballistics by the sounds they made from over the hill or miles away. I’m betting I lost some of my hearing during that time, but of course it could have been when the boys and I headed out all over Southern California when we were given our limited time off. Some of the guys partied hard, tattooed anything not visible outside of their greens, and damn the torpedoes. People like me? Well, I won’t say I didn’t party, but it wasn’t quite as hard. I didn’t drink much, though I can remember, errr partially remember a few crazy nights. I don’t smoke, and God help anyone who tried to do anything else if they got caught.
In those days, we all knew that we could end up shipped to a small base in Kansas or in the middle of the action in Iraq, Afghanistan, or someplace we haven’t even heard of to defend out freedom. In all of our training, some of the officers noticed I excelled in first aid. Suddenly I found that fewer and fewer of my classes were with the guys I had spent the past weeks and months training with. While my friends were crawling through trenches and shooting tracer bullets into the night, I was practicing field dressing, crawling through smoke filled sand-traps to find an “injured” soldier. They had me diving into pools to “rescue” drowning soldiers in full gear, running miles carrying the normal field gear plus basic medical equipment, and praying every day that things would get easier.
A couple of years and ranks later, I found myself in Ft. Bragg. In a 22 week program, the Marine Corps taught me to be a Special Operations Medic. I didn’t realize while I was there but later learned that I was, at 21, the youngest person to ever get through the training. You don’t get in the media for breaking Special Ops records in the military, but the service was proud, so I was proud.