This is a work of historical fiction. The protagonists in this story are hybrids of people I have known in my life. There has been no attempt to depict historical events exactly as they occurred. There may be people reading this who will say: “I was there and that’s not the way it really happened.” While I understand that concern, I do hope that I’ve been able to capture the spirit of the time between the summers of 1969-1974 as the characters move through those years. It was a period of great social and political ferment both for the United States and Israel. Many suppositions and assumptions about life and society were examined and discarded. Dreams and illusions were shattered.
I had much to learn when I wrote this book and owe a great debt of gratitude to those “specialists” who assisted me in thrashing out the technical aspects of the plot. I have never been a basketball player or coach, a martial artist or a sailor of any worth. I’ve never served in the Israeli army nor do I have any first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the Israeli government or special forces training. So, I enlisted the aid of people who know about these things who graciously shared their time and experience with me.
Finally, I want to dedicate this book to all the lone soldiers who have left behind lands of peace, security, comfort and affluence to come to a dusty strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to serve in the Israeli Defense Force. Most come without family or friends in Israel. Many decide to stay to realize a 2,000-year old dream of rebuilding Jewish life in their ancestral homeland and to live freely as Jews without explanation or apology. Others return home. Some have made the ultimate sacrifice in battle or as victims of terror. We are forever in their debt.