Title: Hero Heredity
Summary: Vietnam brings a whole new generation of Heroes together.
Warning: (possible) Swearing
Disclaimer: Hogan and his Heroes are owned by CBS and not me. The rest of the characters though, are mine.
A/N: After reading about the idea on about the Heroes children I came up with the idea for this story. I did have this part read over by a few people, but when I'm finished with it I'll get it completely Betaed.
Growing up in Cleveland, Margaret never fathomed she'd ever be in a war, much less become a P.O.W. But unfortunately that's exactly what happened. Soon after entering nursing school in '70 she realized there was no way she'd be able to pay for everything and there was no way she'd bother her folks. They were already contending with putting her younger sister, Deborah, through college and surviving on the meagre allowances of the G.I. and Social Insurance pensions. There was no way they'd be able to assist her as well. Her older brother, Eddy's decision to join the Air Force the day he graduated high school was a mixed blessing. Even though they hadn't needed to help him through college, he'd been called up to Vietnam three years prior, and until Christmas of '68, they'd been incommunicado. The day they finally got a letter from him, a letter that now hung proudly on wall above the mantle between their folks wedding shot and a picture of all five of them at 4th of July picnic in 61', her father phoned into work for the first time in almost 15 years and sat Deborah and her down in the den and gave them their first, second and third beer.
Not knowing what else she could do, Margaret quickly joined the Air Force reserves as a nurse without telling her folks. She had kept quiet about her sudden disappearances and reappearances despite being grilled quite often by her father. She'd done a good job keeping that secret up until March of 1971. Due to the recent nursing shortage in North Vietnam, she was being called there to help. She would have to leave 3 weeks later. Telling her parents was like stabbing herself several times in the abdomen with a dull serrated knife. Her mother immediately broke down and quickly excused herself to the bedroom and her father got mad; madder than she had ever seen him before. For several tense minutes she sat still on the couch in the family room as he stomped around her yelling at the top of his voice and pointing an angry finger in her direction every couple seconds. Telling her that she was a fool, berating her for not coming to them if she needed money, and asking her if she thought about what she'd do if she was captured, if she knew what would happen to her if she was captured, if she remembered what he told her about his time in the Air Force during the War. She nodded but kept quiet. The War had always been a tough topic for him; especially his time in a P.O.W. camp, which she had recently learned was called Stalag 13. She'd never asked for anymore information than he offered for fear of upsetting him. It was the only thing she'd ever known that could bring her tough Irish father to tears.
Until the day she told him she was going to Vietnam.
She quickly excused herself to the downstairs washroom after he had calmed a bit, and when she came back to the living room she stopped dead and stared. Her father was sat in his chair with tear tracks and red eyes, trying his damndest to suck back on a sob. Not wanting to startle him, Margaret raced back through the kitchen and up the stairs to her old room, suddenly terrified. If just the idea of war could send such a stoic man into hysterics then just what had she gotten herself into?
On the day she left for Vietnam Deborah and her mother met her at the hanger. Her father had refused to come citing anger. But she knew it was much more like heartache, but didn't say a word for fear of upsetting her already distraught mother and just told her to tell him she loved him when she got back to Cleveland. The last time she saw her mother before taking off was from one of the tiny porthole windows of the cargo plane as it readied itself for take off. Her head was buried in sister's shoulder and her tiny frame shook so badly Deborah had her free arm wrapped tightly around her waist to keep her standing.
Margaret quickly pulled the collar of her jacket up around her ears, turned away and closed her eyes.