Friday, March 4, 2011

Revisiting U.S. Military History: "Mrs. Lieutenant" and Frankfurt, Germany

I'm very excited that my Vietnam-era novel "Mrs. Lieutenant," which was a 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist, is the first featured month in the newly launched book club

I received the nicest email from author George Polley (, who said:
"Mrs. Lieutenant" is the kind of novel that invites you in, engages you and keeps you until you've read the last word.

An absolutely wonderful read that brought back so many memories of the Vietnam War, student unrest, ugly prejudices, the Civil Rights movement and the draft counseling I did when teaching and counseling at one of Minnesota's state universities.

Compassionate and powerful, "Mrs. Lieutenant" is a book that will linger in your memory and keep you thinking and talking about it for a long time.
But what is slightly unnerving to me is that, at the same time I received this email, part of my personal Mrs. Lieutenant history was brought back into sharp focus.

This week's shooting and killing of two U.S. military personnel in Frankfurt, Germany, reminded me that on May 11, 1972, the day that my husband and I took a 1400 military charter flight from Frankfurt back to the U.S., the Frankfurt Officers' Club was bombed by the Baader-Meinhof gang -- one officer was killed and several others wounded.

The next day back in the U.S. I read about the bombing in The Wall Street Journal -- and I remember how shaken I was at the time. Now U.S. military personnel have again been killed in Frankfurt.

Thanks today to the Internet, I found a 33-minute video of an interview of a man who was a 15-year-old student at the U.S. military's high school in Frankfurt at the time of the 1972 bombing. You can listen to the interview to learn more about this period of the U.S. military in Germany.

As some of you know, I have written a partial draft of a sequel to "Mrs. Lieutenant." This sequel focuses on being part of a military occupation in Germany only 25 years after the end of World War II.

My husband and I ended up leaving Germany that May, although we had tickets for the September 1972 Munich Summer Olympic Games. I have just read that Munich is now bidding for the 2018 Winter Olympics. I wonder how many people think that perhaps this is not a chapter of Germany history that should be lived again.

P.S. If you are interested in military stories, do join the -- and I look forward to speaking with you during the four webinars we've having this month for "Mrs. Lieutenant."

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and her social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing works with clients to use social media to attract more business. Read her social media marketing blog.

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