Maurice 'Reese' Wyatt
Maurice Alexander 'Reese' Wyatt is the husband of Amy Barksdale-Wyatt in the Falling Into College series, and first appeared in Brother Grimace's "A Path of Roses and Thorns." A Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air National Guard, Reese has gone by that name since childhood - his full name of 'Maurice' was his maternal grandfather's name, given to him as an attempt to build bridges with his mother's family; his parents married after strenuous objections, but the name didn't serve to smooth family relations over.
Reese was born on Halloween Day 1964 to Alexandra and Gerald Wyatt; he was born at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Alexandra (a fiercely independent and downright stubborn woman) refused to take maternity leave from her job as a reporter until the last possible point; against the advice of her doctor, Alexandra flew to California to interview several test pilots (as she refused to allow a male colleague to take the feature from her). While at Edwards, she got into an argument with the base public relations officer (after being told she would not be allowed access to her scheduled interviewees and then doing so anyway); she went into premature labor, and delivered the baby in the base hospital. (Reese still has the flight helmet given to his mother for him by the test pilots, with all of their signatures on it.)
Although he is working part-time as a meteorologist at a GSN Network affiliate in Georgetown, Reese is independently wealthy (his family on his mother's side owns several major companies, and his father is a vastly successful Hollywood television mogul), with a personal worth of between four to six billion dollars. In the notes for the upcoming third installment of 'Path', it is revealed that Reese also spends additional time in uniform at Tennyson University, where he accrues required Air National Guard service time as a firearms instructor; he occasionally acts as a guest lecturer for meteorology classes, and for Military History courses (where he tells cadets about being in combat and flying as a 'Hurricane Hunter' (see 'Military Background').
Reese marriage to Amy is his second; he was married to Dawn Wyatt (nee Reynolds), a fashion correspondent for the GSN Network who he met through the manipulations of his mother. They were married long enough for the couple to have twin daughters (Jocelyn and Jerica Wyatt). Sadly, Dawn passed away five days before Christmas 1998 at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana (where Reese and the family were based; he was a 'pilot with the 'Hurricane Hunters') due to a massive cerebral hemorrhage that occurred as she delivered their stillborn son (Ryan Alexander Wyatt). After the tragedy, Reese resigned from active duty, moved to Maryland, and went into the Maryland Air National Guard: he did this with the full backing and support of his friend Lyle, so that he could still be a full-time father to his children instead of allowing his mother to be the girls' primary caretaker.
Reese is developing a taste for golfing, and he has been a lifelong marksman. His marksmanship skills with the pistol are such that he was on the U.S. Olympic Team in 1992 and 1996. In the 1996 Atlanta Games, Reese won a silver medal in the 50-meter pistol competition; four years earlier, at the 1992 Barcelona Games, Reese was the first alternate on the team. (He didn't qualify because he was shooting with a new pistol - his weapon suffered a malfunction and he had to use a new firearm that he wasn't familiar with. While still delivering an impressive result, he still was bested and sat out the event. It was at the Barcelona games that he became friends with Michael Jordan, who played on the 1992 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team (also known as the 'Dream Team'.)
Before marrying Amy, Reese has a brief relationship with Cheryl Newlin (a Radio/Television professor at Tennyson University) and an even briefer one with Gail Timmes (Lyle's news co-anchor). He is still on very good, albeit platonic, terms with both women (which annoys Amy, especially in the case of Cheryl).
Reese and Amy married on September 8, 2001. They were to fly to Japan for their honeymoon, but Amy became ill he next afternoon with a moderate case of the flu. Their Japan trip was canceled when Amy's sister Helen Morgendorffer suffered a stroke on September 10 - and the events of September 11, 2001 occurred immediately afterward. Amy has resisted Reece's efforts to draw her away for a late honeymoon, but has secured a promise of them going as an anniversary trip.
Reese attended the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs (over the objections of his mother) and graduated fifth in the class of 1984, with a degree in meteorology and an enriched minor in Japanese). He has been a pilot for the majority of his career, but has also sought out opportunities to use his Academy training (he spent a year in Antarctica as a member of an American science team, and acted as the liaison with the Japanese team that 'wintered over' (spent time on the continent during the 'nighttime' season).
Reese is listed as rated to fly the F-15 fighter and the C-130 transport aircraft. He has spent the majority of time as an 'Eagle Driver' with the Maryland Air National Guard's 357th Tactical Fighter Squadron. (He is also scheduled to transition into the F-22 'Raptor' fighter craft; the 357th is scheduled to be the first Air National Guard squadron to receive the new fighters). During Operation Enduring Freedom, his F-15C air-superiority fighter aircraft was named "Amy's Attitude" and featured nose art of her. (Nose Art by Minx at DeviantArt) Reese has been awarded three air-to-air 'kills': he downed a MiG-29 and a Mirage during the Persian Gulf War, and a second MiG-29 over Kosovo. He is also credited with destroying six tanks during the Gulf War, and an unknown number of light armored vehicles during the extraction of a fellow NATO coalition pilot. Because of his proclivity towards engaging ground vehicles, Reese was offered a number of opportunities to transfer from F-15's into A-10 'Warthog' ground-attack aircraft (he refused for the same reason that he left active service - because he wanted to raise his children himself).
(Reese actually has four confirmed kills; the fourth was an unrevealed manned aircraft (possibly of American origin) which he downed in the 'no-fly zone' during Operation Enduring Freedom. After a brief military inquiry, Reese and his wingman, Major Lyle Wallister were cleared of any wrongdoing and restored to flight status - but were advised that the incident was classified and that he would not be allowed to be officially credited with the 'kill'.)
Over the course of his military career, Reese has been offered several prestige spots (including astronaut training with an eye towards Space Shuttle flight training),all of which he has turned down. The only prestige spot Reese has ever accepted was a position on the U.S. Air Force marksmanship team (where he was the number-two pistol shooter on the squad). Reese was a perennial attendee at many inter-service shooting competitions, and won high honors six times for his pistol skills (including excellent performances at the inter-service shooting competition at Camp Perry, Ohio.