Throughout this book we are introduced to many interesting and riveting characters but in my opinion one of the best characters in this book would have to be Major Nancy Jaax. She was a veterinarian in the Army, and her work at Fort Detrick in Maryland often took her away from her children. Consequently, she often made up batches of meals in advance so they could easily be thawed and reheated in the microwave (Preston, 1994). She and her husband, Jerry, met in college and both became veterinarians. They eventually entered the military together as members of the Army's Veterinary Corps(Preston, 1994). They lived in Maryland with their two children, Jason and Jaime, and various pets. Nancy's work took her away from her family in other respects, as well, and she missed saying goodbye to her dying father because she felt that leaving during the decontamination mission would be a dereliction of duty (Preston, 1994).
Nancy Jaax had to fight to get into the pathology group at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (Preston, 1994). At that time, her status as a "married female" made other people feel that she was unqualified for the job and that she would panic in a dire situation. The military at that time was still a very male-oriented organization. In addition, Nancy had bad reactions to the vaccinations necessary to enter the program (Preston, 1994). She actually wanted to get into the Level 4, or the highest-risk part of the program, because there is no vaccine for those agents. Finally, Nancy's hands tended to move very quickly, and that made others nervous (Preston, 1994). When individuals handle sharp instruments that could be contaminated with virus-infested blood, everyone wants to believe that his or her partner is going to handle these instruments safely.
Over the course of