Falcon's Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir

By Denise Donnelly; Michael Donnelly | Go to book overview

A Full 360

January 1997

We have been looking for a house since our return early last October. There isn't much on the market that will suit our needs--specifically, someplace that can be easily adapted to a wheelchair. In other words, we need to find a house that is almost completely on one floor, with extrawide doorways and a wheel-in shower and toilet.

After four months of straight-out searching, calls to and from realtors, hours spent scanning the newspaper, we aren't having very much luck. Then my mother gives Dick Kelley a call. Kelley built their house 20 years ago. She tells him what we're looking for, just in case he knows of anything.

A few days later Dick Kelley pays me a visit. He is a handsome man of average size, in his mid-50s, with silver grey hair that he combs back over his head. As he sits with me at the kitchen counter, he leans forward, his face pleasant, kind.

"Michael," he says, "I'd like to build you a house. I'd make it so that everything is accessible to you."

I look at him. I'm not sure how to interpret his offer. We don't exactly have money to burn.

"Not everything has to make money," he adds, as if he can read my thoughts.

"I appreciate your offer, Mr. Kelley," I tell him. "I really do. But I don't want charity." I can feel my bruised pride purpling behind my eyes.

"No, and you don't need it," he answers. "But you can accept help. And by the way, call me Dick."

This is a good, decent man, I decide. I almost cry. It's been a long time since I've met a good, decent man. And I know I need help. I don't want to need it, but I do.

He tells me of several areas where he's building and lots that he owns around town.

"Think about it, Mike," he says as he pulls on his barn coat. He turns back to face me before heading out the door. "Let me know."

-204-

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Falcon's Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I Air Warrior 1
  • Needle, Ball and Air Speed 3
  • Part II The Widening Gyre 13
  • The Apple Wars 15
  • Wild Blue Yonder 23
  • Velocity and Vector 39
  • Part III Victory Takes Wings 53
  • Lines in the Sand 55
  • Peaceday, Warday 67
  • Crossing the Fence 81
  • Crud 101
  • How Do You Spell Victory? 111
  • Part IV The Wings of Icarus 123
  • No Joy 127
  • Solo 137
  • Bogeys 147
  • Near Miss 156
  • Lost Wingman 170
  • Homecoming 184
  • A Full 360 204
  • Bandits, Twelve O'Clock 220
  • Part V Fallen Angels 231
  • Nordo 235
  • Epilogue 243
  • A Fighter Pilot's Glossary of Terms 245
  • Congressional Report-- House of Representatives 249
  • About the Authors 253
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