Code of Conduct

Matt Tillet, an F-8 Crusader pilot, is shot down over North Vietnam in 1966. He escapes from his spiraling, out-of-control jet with only seconds to spare, but is quickly captured by Vietnamese militiamen. Surviving torture, months of solitary confinement and the infamous Hanoi March, the dream of returning home to his wife and two children keeps him going. Repatriated in 1973, he returns to find that dream shattered.Code of Conduct accurately depicts the Prisoner of War experience. However, it is not so much a blood and guts war novel as it is the emotional tale of a family torn apart by war, more than seven years separation and the long journey to reconstruct their lives. After Matt is shot down, he is introduced to the “Green Room” torture, and quickly learns it is impossible to uphold the military Code of Conduct – give only your name, rank and serial number. The book then switches to San Diego, where his wife, Bobbie, ill-equipped to raise two children alone, learns how difficult it can be to maintain the marriage Code.In 1973, several of the repatriated ex-Vietnam POWs came home to broken marriages. While the romance or personal relationship portion of this book is fictional, similar stories played out numerous times. Code of Conduct, a historical novel, examines in vivid detail the gut-wrenching effects of prolonged imprisonment and the sacrifice of our combat troops who endure the emotional turmoil of war which often results in devastated personal lives. The prison scenes are based on actual events that happened to the POWs in Vietnam, which the author discovered through years of listening to her husband and his Vietnam ex-POW buddies at reunions and other get-togethers. Additionally, the author had access to twelve hours of debriefing tapes – her husband’s taped report of his recollection of almost seven years of events given to an intelligence officer just hours after he was released.

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