IMAGES OF FREEDOM

The starkness of a silhouette
upon a field of black,
The image of one who fought for us
but did not make it back.

P.O.W./M.I.A.
we all know the names,
Prisoner of War/Missing in Action
is their claim to fame.

We must never forget these lost souls
nor the price they paid so dear,
Hold them close in your heart forever --
year after year.

Stand at the great black wall, read
the names and count the cost,
Our precious freedom gained
for the many lives lost.

And when you see the Stars and Stripes
blowing in the wind,
Say your thanks and your prayers
for each one of them.

We may not have known them --
Someone's father, brother, son,
But with each life given
our freedom was won.

Freedom we take for granted
with no thought of our own,
For the P.O.W./M.I.A.
who may never come home.

Diana Waite May 4, 1998©

Eugene R. Glazer

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*OPERATIONS*






Operations - the imposing force behind Section One.


What we know of him comes from two main sources - his son, Steven Wolfe, and from the actions of the man, himself.


In a single conversation with Nikita, Steven gives a clear picture of who Operations was pre-Section. A combat soldier whose leadership skills in Vietnam kept his men strong and together throughout an extremely harsh imprisonment in a POW camp. It was this man who chose to remain lost to his wife and son in order to keep them - and the world at large - protected from those who would seek to manipulate and terrorize to achieve their goals. With this insight into the man he was, a clearer understanding can be reached about the Operations of the present.


In Section One, sentimentality and a mourning for the past are discouraged. However, despite his seemingly abrasive and unyielding nature, to look at Operations is to see a man who chooses to live with constant reminders of his past. Never seen without two significant items - a POW/MIA lapel pin, and a plain gold band on his wedding finger - these symbols of his past demonstrate that he has made a conscious decision to remember who he once was and those he has dedicated the rest of his life to protecting.


Operations is an active leader. Although often he oversees Section from his observation deck high above the main floor, he delegates few of his responsibilities to others. It is rare that he does not preside over mission briefings, and he has been known to personally monitor missions as they happen. He has even joined them in the field on occasion. His confidence in those he commands is high, and it is rare that he shows any signs of stress over the situations he must deal with. His single tell-tale sign that he is feeling tension is his habit of chain-smoking.


Although remaining aloof to most members of Section One, he does give personal attention to a select few. Madeline is a powerful member of Section, and Operations both respects and admires her. There are indications of a more intimate bond between them, but the truth - whatever it may be - remains a mystery. He also appears to have a long-standing relationship with Walter, Section's weapons designer. Despite their differing ranks in the Section hierarchy, there is a sense that each man respects the other for who he is.


Birkoff, one of Section's youngest but most important members, also seems to have a special bond with him. Despite his youth, Operations shows his confidence in Birkoff's abilities by the amount of responsiblity he has assigned to him. Although he never plays a paternal role with him, he has more than once displayed his fondness for the young operative. Operations' most complicated relationships are with Michael and his protege, Nikita. From Michael, Operations expects perfection, and total success. When he does not receive these results, he does not hesitate in expressing his displeasure. Despite this apparently rigid relationship, Operations does not appear to harbor negative feelings towards Michael on a personal level. Michael recognizes this distinction, and when Operations was shot by a would-be assassin, Michael's concern was evident and sincere. Nikita has proven to be Operations' greatest challenge. A strong-willed young woman, she has questioned his decisions, and gone against his orders when she disagreed with them. Despite this, Operations recognizes her abilities and strengths. He knew she was the one to trust to protect his son in a situation that was certain to threaten Steven's life, and his instincts proved him correct.


Operations is a strong leader, but he remains receptive to the advice and suggestions of those around him. On more than one occasion, this small group - Madeline, Walter, Birkoff, Michael, and Nikita - has aided him in ensuring Section One's success in crucial situations. Although the relationships are not without conflict, and some contain elements of antagonism, this group - and Section One as a whole - is held together by Operations' strong leadership and solid conviction that their work is of the utmost importance in protecting the innocent from harm in an unsafe world.