The majority of Will Diaz’s friends are members of something they call “the Regulators.”
The name comes from the movie, “Young Guns.” It was hung on them as a joke. They took it and wore it like a warrior’s mantel. It’s a club and a group, that as one member puts it, “There are no dues and no meetings. My kind of club.”
As a result, they get together for weddings and funerals but have tried to change that with at least one get together a year just to eat and hang out.
So who are these people?
In the first book, we learn it all started with six friends. We had six people show up for US Army basic training and Military Police School. Five guys and one girl were the core group. All of them had one thing in common; they were all cowboys. They went through Basic together, AIT (MP school); all went to the same assignment (in this case, Ft. Riley, Kansas, home of the Big Red One). All six of them worked undercover narcotics and Military Police Investigations and went to the same line units. Each of them fought in the Gulf War in the same platoon.
Several months after getting back from the Gulf, destiny stepped in. Some were getting out going to civilian jobs. Others were merely being moved to other bases or assignments. In almost six years of being together, this small team was splitting up.
The last night they were together, they all went to a campsite, had a cookout, and shared good times and bad times. That night, their friendship took a little more a formal twist. A charter was drafted up, and a blood oath taken they’d always be there for one another. That night, they invoked an ancient warrior tradition, and became blood. They all swore they’d always be there for one another, no matter what. Being there could be anything from sit down and have coffee to bring guns, I need help. They also swore that if one them ever got in trouble and had to be arrested, they’d be the ones who brought that person to justice.
As time goes by, the group grows. The only requirement is the person has to be a cowboy (at least be able to ride a horse) and be, or have been a cop.
The original members (or Regulators – First Class) are:
Will Diaz – Will is often referred to as the founding father of the Regulators. I’ve already talked a lot about him, so we won’t spend any more time on him.
Michael Jones – Jonesy as his friends call him is from North Carolina. While we don’t see him much in book one, he’ll play a central role in Dead Friends. He left the Army to join LAPD. Jonesy is a big man, often described as being built like an NFL linebacker. Jonesy is black, and that sets the stage for a story where in the course of investigating his bloodlines, finds an unsolved cold case. While the perps are long dead, he sets out to find out the truth of what happened. That book exists in rough draft and will be called Strange Fruit.
Max Laurie – We see a lot of Max in both books one and two, and he strongly influences what happens in the Family Secrets series. Max got out of Law Enforcement to start a guide service. Max is one of Will’s best friends, but he’s a man who walks in the middle, between Good and Evil, Right and Wrong. And he’s about to get run over.
Greg Fiegel – We meet Greg in Books One and Two, and only briefly. At the beginning of Book One, he’s at a funeral. We learn he’s a division commander and the only one of the regulators that went to OCS and became an officer. His adventures have yet to be told.
Eric McArtor – Eric left the military and joined the Texas Rangers. Like Greg, his adventures have yet to get chronicled.
Terri Rice – Terri is the mother figure of the Regulators. It was her idea to draw up the charter and often acts as the Secretary and Vice-President of the group. Terri is the result of a dozen bloodlines, and the first good description we get of her is “Rae Dawn Chong in BDUs.” Smart, and decisive, she and Will took the blame for some incident that isn’t chronicled yet but is mentioned. Both ended up leaving the military because of it. But where Will went to a small Sheriff’s Office, she went to the FBI. She casts her shadow over several of the first books, and figures in big time in Family Secrets.
The Regulators – Second class is:
RJ Madril – Will’s longtime buddy. RJ is someone I’ll talk more depth about later, but when we first meet up with him on Book One, he’s a Spanish Teacher who’s out of a job and is now working with the Sheriff’s Office again. He’s someone who has always had Will’s back. In Book Two, he gets promoted to detective. Like so many small counties, his salary comes from a lot of different pots to include Narcotics Officer (in addition to education and the like, he also runs the covert narcotics program) and Emergency Management. He figures in big time in almost all the books. He’ll get his standalone adventure in a book called Dead Cold.
Pam Harmon – When we first meet her, she’s Town Marshal in Sanford, Colorado. A former Marine MP, she becomes one of the big players in some of their adventures. She’s a cowgirl, been a rodeo queen, and still does barrel racing at events. She and RJ are always dancing around each other in their relationship. They’re terrific friends, hang together a lot, but not exactly sure if they want to take it any further.
Bob Mortenson – Bob is an old time cop. He’s a ‘Nam vet, and Town Marshal in Manassa, Colorado. A cowboy, he runs a small ranch. He’s older than the others, and he and the Sheriff often form the wise counsel for the youngsters to listen to. Also since he’s older and not as fast and agile as he used to be, he becomes the team’s sniper.
Andy DeShong – Andy is a detective with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office. He and Will first meet in Book One and become good friends. Andy is former Air Force, and he learned to fly while in it. His father owned an old Beechcraft, and since Andy is the only one of his children who could fly, he inherited the plane. A bit older than Will, he’s often a teacher to everyone about, and it becomes established early in that he’s an expert on fraud and homicide.
Albert Montoya – Albert is from Costilla County and plays a huge role in several of the books. We learn he’s former Army but not an MP. Instead, he was Infantry, and he often brings his knowledge and training of urban warfare to the table. Albert is an expert planner.
The Regulators – Third Class:
We’re only introduced to one so far. Vickie Marquez is RJ and Will’s protégé. When we first meet her, she’s a recently graduated high school girl headed off to the military to become an MP. While she’s out on a few of their adventures, I’m looking ahead to figure what I can do with her in a standalone novel.
So except for the civilians, these are the core people who make up the first several adventures. I hope to keep them riding for a long time to come.